© Photo provided by The Guardian Natalie Grant sings the national anthem before Monday’s College Football Playoff national championship. Photograph: Darron Cummings/AP
When watching some mainstream secular media, it can seem like the Christian media and music industry is small, unpopular or cast aside.
But today's National Championship told a different story.
The College Football Playoff proved that Christian contemporary music is mainstream enough for one of its leading faces to belt out the song that unites fans of every team across the nation: the national anthem.
The College Football Playoff association selected Christian recording artist Natalie Grant as the singer.
The CFP issued the following statement:
A five-time Gospel Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year, Grant has remained one of Christian music's top-selling artists with 42 Dove Award nominations and multiple No. 1 records and albums on the Billboard charts. Most recently, Grant launched her newest album "No Stranger," which set a 20-year milestone and marked the biggest first-week debut of her career en route to becoming 2020's highest-selling album debut in her genre. An advocate for social justice, Grant is also the co-founder of Hope For Justice, an international non-profit organization with 32 offices spanning 10 countries that works to end modern-day slavery.
Additionally, Grant is the author of the book "The Real Me," which I led for a group of middle school girls at Emmanuel Church in my hometown of Abilene, Kansas.
Grant's vulnerability and faith-filled testimony of Jesus rescuing her from bulimia positively impacted me. As a lifelong performer (initially in much smaller and non-paying ways than what I do now), I resonate with the feeling of having to act or look perfect for an audience yet needing to come humbly before Jesus and those closest to me for help with internal struggles in my heart.
As James 5:16 says, "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed."
Though I have not personally dealt with bulimia, God has helped me overcome so much in my life, and He has helped Natalie Grant overcome too! Now, she is free from that eating disorder, and she just had yet another accomplishment on that field in Indiana.
Before a packed stadium of jazzed-up fans, Grant belted out the National Anthem with the soulful strength for which she is known.
Held in Indianapolis at the Lucas Oil Stadium, the game pitted the Georgia Bulldogs against the Alabama Crimson Tide. At the time of this publication, the outcome of the game is not yet known, but Grant's placement is a victory for the Christian music industry and — dare we say — a victory for Christ.