Natalie Grant first started in contemporary Christian music when she auditioned for the traveling music group Truth. Later she moved to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue her solo career. There she signed with Benson Records in 1997 and began working on her self-titled debut which was released in 1999. She left Benson for Pamplin Music soon after and released the album Stronger
in 2001. She then ended up at Curb Records after Pamplin folded, where she has made five solo albums as of 2012, starting with Deeper Life
in 2003. Awaken
was her breakthrough success, in 2005. It was RIAA certified gold. It was followed by Love Revolution
on August 24, 2010 and Hurricane
on October 15, 2013.Grant released three albums between 1999 and 2003, although the majority of her hits came later in her career. She has since reported being unhappy with the way she was imaged by her early record label which marketed her partly on her looks, and says of her first record, "It wasn't me at all either." However, she credits her early albums with having been necessary to her progressing and growing into an artist that takes control of such decisions, starting with her first widely successful album, Awaken
.Another factor that was essential to her later successes was a life-altering trip to India in 2004. Not only did this trip inspire her charitable pursuits, "but it brought a new passion and direction to her music." Instead of focusing only on what song might be a hit, Grant reports that she now focuses on songs that will inspire, give hope, and motivate others to make their lives matter.There have been other noteworthy events along the way. She wrote a book entitled The Real Me
in 2005. She toured on the Speaking Louder Than Before tour with Bebo Norman and Jeremy Camp in 2008. She contributed the song "Breathe On Me" to Crystal Aikin's self-titled debut album. She was a speaker and performer on the Revolve Tour, a conference for teen girls from Women of Faith. She toured with award winning, multi-platinum selling Billboard magazine's Artist of The Decade MercyMe in April 2011. Also, in October 2011 she starred in the Gospel Music Channel (GMC) made-for-television movie Decision
Natalie Grant was born December 21, 1971 in Seattle, Washington. She enrolled at Northwest College (Now Northwest University) in Kirkland, Washington, studying to be a schoolteacher. She reportedly figured that her musical gifts were merely for sharing with her local church until she learned how to find God's true calling for her life, and so switched directions and joined the musical group Truth.In pursuing her music career, Grant moved to Nashville, Tennessee where she now lives with her Canadian producer husband, Bernie Herms, and their three daughters. These include a set of fraternal twin girls, Grace Ana and Isabella Noelle (born February 16, 2007).In an interview with The 700 Club
, Natalie revealed that she suffered from bulimia. She says God helped her get over her eating disorder. She later wrote a book in 2005 titled The Real Me: Being the Girl God Sees
, about her struggle and how she overcame it.
Grant is involved in campaigning against human trafficking. She was affected by an episode of Law & Order that dealt with the topic and began researching. Her studies led her and her husband to travel to India to witness the red-light districts and what is being done to stop them. That experience changed the trajectory of Natalie's life and reportedly changed the way she approaches her music.In 2005 Grant founded The Home Foundation, which has since evolved into Abolition International, an international organization with the aim of eradicating sex trafficking through aftercare accreditation, advocacy, and education and provision of restoration homes for victims of sex trafficking.On October 23, 2012, Grant received the 2012 Bishop Ketteler Award for Social Justice from the Sisters of Divine Providence, who honored her for her work against human trafficking.