At just 20 years old, Anne Wilson — the voice behind the hit song “My Jesus” — has become a household name, earning the title of Female Artist of the Year at the K-LOVE Fan Awards.
“I’m so honored and I’m so grateful,” the singer told CBN’s Faithwire from the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee, where the awards show was taped Sunday. “I think it’s so surreal to be in this place and realize that fans voted for me. That’s such an honor and just makes me so humble, so grateful.”
She also won Breakout Single of the Year for her debut song, “My Jesus,” which ascended to the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Hot Christian Songs chart and has since sold more than half a million copies. Earlier this spring, her first full-length album debuted at No. 1 on the Top Christian Albums chart.
Wilson, a native of Lexington, Kentucky, originally had dreams of becoming an astronaut. Her vision for the future changed, though, when she tragically lost her 23-year-old brother, Jacob, who died in a car crash. In fact, it was Jacob’s funeral where Wilson sang publicly for the first time. It was that bitter and beautiful moment that helped the young singer-songwriter realize music was her life’s purpose.
She shared her story in more detail on a recent episode of “The Prodigal Stories Podcast”:
She carries the burden of her brother’s untimely death by keeping “a heavenly perspective.”
“This is not our final home; heaven is,” Wilson said. “So I think keeping my perspective on that and realizing that things on earth don’t matter as much when we have our heavenly home. I think that’s a really big encouragement for me and I think that’s what I’d inspire others to just keep their eyes on that.”
While Wilson admitted she “was terrified” by nerves going up on stage at the K-LOVE Fan Awards, she said she was encouraged having her parents and sister at the Opry to support her.
Ahead of the show, when she walked the red carpet in front of cheering fans, Wilson recalled growing up watching the K-LOVE Fan Awards, telling CBN’s Faithwire it’s hard to believe she’s now a recording artist.
“I wouldn’t be here if my brother hadn’t passed away,” she said. “But I also am so grateful to be here. I’m so grateful that I get to share Jesus with people and that I get to encourage people in the Lord. I would trade it all to have my brother back. But I’m so grateful that God used [his death] for good.”
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Asked what it means to know her song, “My Jesus,” which she co-wrote with friend and fellow Christian recording artist Matthew West, has impacted so many millions of people, Wilson said she’s honored.
“I think about times when I was forever impacted by a song growing up on Christian radio, and to have songs that are now reaching people — it’s such a beautiful, full-circle moment for me that I never thought I would have. I didn’t grow up wanting to be an artist, so to have this moment now of realizing that my songs are impacting people, it’s so surreal for me.”
The 9th annual K-LOVE Fan Awards were co-hosted by Christian singers Matthew West and Tauren Wells and aired Friday at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET on TBN.
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