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Kennedy Center honoree Amy Grant on bike accident that left her unconscious: “It’s been such a gift”

Kennedy Center honoree Amy Grant on bike accident that left her unconscious: "It's been such a gift"
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“I don’t remember the wreck. I don’t remember the weeks right after that,” singer-songwriter Amy Grant said about a bad bike accident that knocked her unconscious for nearly ten minutes.

The fall, which happened in July of this year, forced the six-time Grammy-winner to cancel a fall tour and struggle, at times, to remember the lines to her songs – and even the names of some of those closest to her.

“It started off just trying to remember names of people in my family,” she said. “A lot of sentences would start off, ‘Are they dead or alive?'”

But she called the accident a gift. 

“Since 2020, I have just been flirting with death right and left,” Grant said. “The three things I kept saying over and over again: ‘I can’t believe I have all my teeth.’ ‘Something’s wrong with my shoulder.’ And ‘I needed this,’” she said, referring to the bike accident. 

“I think about how, like, what energy do I have left, and how would I like to use it differently? And it’s been such a gift,” she said. “And really the gift is: I loved music before anybody was listening, I wrote songs because they helped me understand life, and like I woke up saying, ‘I still have that same toolkit, and I think I have one more good record in me.'”

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Amy Grant in rehearsal

CBS News


These days, Grant isn’t taking anything for granted, filling a book with her own memories after the bad bike crash. And when Grant invited Vladimir Duthiers and “CBS Mornings” to a preview of her upcoming Christmas show, she revealed she struggled, at first, just to remember some words to classics like “Winter Wonderland.”  

“It’s been a really slow season,” she told CBS News. “I’ve been on a treadmill going about 0.5 mph, like I’m merging onto interstate traffic.'”

Her return is bringing Grant not just back to the stage, but also to one of the country’s biggest spotlights: the Kennedy Center Honors. This month, she was recognized as a Kennedy Center honoree.

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Singer-songwriter Amy Grant

CBS News


Grant has sold more than 30 million albums, and her music has been streamed more than one billion times around the world. Yet, the multi-platinum artist never had to make it to Nashville; Grant grew up there. 

“My parents loved music, but I think we all sort of took the perfunctory three-to-four years of piano from the lady down the street. We did sing in church. And we are one of those families that went to church Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night. I cannot remember one sermon from one preacher. But I remember the music,” she said.

And Grant remembers hearing those hymns made her think: “God, you could do with some good PR here!”

So, at just 15, Grant reached her first mountain top, with the release of her eponymous debut album.


Mountain Top by
Amy Grant – Topic on
YouTube

Still so young, she’s wearing her high school ring on the album cover. 

“A guy that my sister had gone on a date with heard a copy of a cassette I had made for my mom and dad,” Grant said. “And they called the record company and played that tape over the phone. And he even said, ‘She’s not that great. She’s okay. She’s not that good, but she sounds sincere.’ And I was. Yeah, I feel like I grew up with my audience.”

And Grant’s audience quickly grew. Soon, she had the first Christian album to go platinum, 1982’s “Age to Age.” And it didn’t take much time for her star to really shine, with early ’90s crossover hits like “Baby, Baby,” off her bestselling album “Heart in Motion.”


Amy Grant – Baby, Baby by
AmyGrantVEVO on
YouTube

The song that some critics cast as “too sexy” for a Christian artist actually was written while watching her own baby, Millie.

“I didn’t know it was about your daughter,” Duthiers said.

“Yeah, well, I mean, that’s a great thing about a song; it can be about anything,” said Grant.

It was an adorable moment at the 34th Grammy Awards when Grant brought her baby out on stage. “From a mothering standpoint, to have a two-year-old up that late, phew!

That “baby” recently made Grant a grandmother.

Her 2013 album “How Mercy Looks From Here” is dedicated to Grant’s own mother, who died from dementia, and features collaborations with some of Grant’s favorite musicians, including Carole King (“Our Time Is Now”), James Taylor (“Don’t Try So Hard”), and Vince Gill (“Better Not to Know”).


Amy Grant – Better Not To Know (Lyric) ft. Vince Gill by
AmyGrantVEVO on
YouTube

Grant and Gill wed in 2000. The couple’s combined 28 Grammys crowd their home studio shelves – the most recent one for his tribute “When My Amy Prays”:


Vince Gill – When My Amy Prays (Lyric Video) by
VinceGillVEVO on
YouTube

Grant recalled accompanying Gill to a doctor’s visit three years ago: “And the cardiologist said, ‘Hey, let me check you out.’ And Vince was like, ‘Oh, she’s the Energizer bunny.’ And now I go, ‘Thank God,’ because I had a birth defect, undetected, and he said I would have been dead by 62.”

Grant just celebrated that 62nd birthday, after the “Every Heartbeat” artist had open-heart surgery and then, that bad bike accident that landed her back in the hospital. 

State Depaertnemt dinner
Amy Grant with her fellow 2022 Kennedy Center Honorees, front row: Gladys Knight, George Clooney and Tania Leon. Rear: Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jr., The Edge, and Bono, of the band U2, at the State Department in Washington, D.C. on December 3, 2022.

Amanda Andrade-Rhoades for The Washington Post/Getty Images


Amy Grant kicks off a series of Christmas shows with her husband Monday night. And she is hitting the road in the spring to make up the tour she was forced to cancel this fall.


Watch The 44th Annual Kennedy Center Honors December 22 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS and streaming on Paramount+.

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