Throughout the '80s Grant's success continued, as her albums went gold and platinum and won awards. She signed to A&M in 1990 and began focusing less on her squeaky-clean gospel singer persona, trying to project a more contemporary, sexy (albeit in a wholesome way) pop image. In 1991, she had three big hit singles on the pop charts: the number one "Baby Baby," "Every Heartbeat," and "That's What Love Is For." By the end of the year, the album had gone double platinum and continued to be a big seller. Grant frequently donates her time to several humanitarian efforts and has received honors from the American Cancer Society, the State of Tennessee, the Nashville Chamber of Commerce, and St. John's University, which gave her its Pax Christi Award.
Released in 1994, House of Love followed up on the success of Heart in Motion with another round of wholesome pop, including the hit title duet with Vince Gill. But things took a more introspective turn with 1997's Behind the Eyes. The album's somber lyrics and spare arrangements were a noticeable departure from the lighthearted pop of her two previous records. But it was an important record, as it presaged her 1999 divorce from Gary Chapman, her husband of 16 years and father of her three children.
When the divorce was announced publicly, and it was revealed that Grant intended to marry longtime collaborator Gill, many in the Christian community were again up in arms over Grant's actions. Controversy ensued. Christian radio stations refused to play her songs; some Christian retail outlets pulled her albums. Nevertheless, on March 10, 2000, Grant married Gill in Nashville, and the two united their families. Their daughter Corrina was born a year later.
Recording-wise, the late '90s and early '00s found Grant performing Christmas music for a variety of venues. She released A Christmas to Remember, a collection of contemporary holiday music, in 1999, and hosted a prime time TV special based around the album's themes. The gospel album A Special Wish followed in 2001, leading up to the spring 2002 release of Legacy...Hymns and Faith. A landmark recording, Legacy was a tasteful look back at the music that both influenced and guided Grant throughout her 25 years as a performer. A new album, tentatively titled Simple Things, was scheduled for an August 2003 release. ~ Sandra Brennan, All Music Guide Photography By: Victoria Pearson
Photography By: Victoria Pearson