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Amy Grant Enjoys Continuing Association With Former Opening Act

of the Oakland Press

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Amy Grant fondly recalls the days in the mid-80s when Michael W. Smith was the keyboardist in her band as well as her opening act. But nowadays she’s perfectly happy to share the bill as equals.

“We’ve had a whole life since then,” says Grant, 49, who’s straddled the pop and contemporary Christian markets with hits such as “Baby Baby,” “Every Heartbeat,” “That’s What Love is For” and “The Next Time I Fall” with Peter Cetera. “He married a girl that I went to high school with. We’ve watched each other’s kids grow up. It’s not like we’ve been having barbecues in our back yards all the time ... but he feels just like family.

“Michael just has amazing enthusiasm and energy, and he’s driven in all the best ways. So it’ll be fun to be a part of his thing.”

Grant’s “thing” is also continuing in fine and active fashion. In March, she released her 19th album, “Somewhere Down the Road,” which combines new, unreleased and previously released songs as well as a remake of her 1983 hit “Arms of Love.” The album includes collaborations with her husband, Vince Gill, and Sarah Chapman, her youngest child with first husband Gary Chapman.

Grant also turns 50 on Nov. 25, a milestone she says she was once “dreading” but is now prepared to face.

“I’m actually excited about it,” she says. “I think a toggle switch has kind of flipped and I said, ‘Thank you, God.’ I’m still alive. I get to do most of the things I have always loved doing. I’m in pretty good health. I get to go on the road and sing.

“Recently I’ve been so inspired by Carole King. She’s 68. And then this Judy Collins record (‘Paradise’) just came out, and it’s great and she’s 71. I don’t have to look too far to feel like (50) is maybe not so old, you know?”

Amy Grant performs with Michael W. Smith at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 8, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $35 and $25 pavilion, $10 lawn. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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