American Idol Songwriter 2008
SESAC writer of the Year 1995,1996, 1997, and 2000
Married to wife, Yolanda, with two kids
Regie Hamm: Angels and American Idols
The 700 Club
“I SURRENDER ALL”
Only God knows the moments that will change everything. “I believe I started with a little disadvantage. The Gospel was almost the family business.”
Regie Hamm comes from a multigenerational family of ministers and preachers. “By the time I reached a certain age, I was wrapped up and entangled in the trappings, the industry, the business nuts and bolts and economy of Christianity.”
Regie became an award-winning Christian music writer and producer, writing over 20 No. 1 hits. "I Surrender All" changed his career in 1994. Even though it was the first No. 1 song Regie wrote and the song that launched the career of Clay Crosse, Regie states, “I had not yet fully processed the concept. I had not really thought through the implications of making such a statement to God. It would take years before I would fully understand, embrace, and eventually live out my own words.”
At the height of his success in 2002, Regie left the Christian music industry to pursue a career as an artist in the pop arena. “The move was more for the art,” says Regie. “I wanted to write about some other things in life.” Regie thought he was at the top of his game and on his way to his true destiny. Following the release of his pop album, Regie and his wife, Yolanda, received the long awaited call approving their Chinese adoption application.
In The Green Room
Go behind the scenes with Regie Hamm
“TIME OF MY LIFE”
During the time in China picking up their baby girl, Regie’s hit song fell from the charts and his tour dates were canceled. He returned to the US with his career in shambles. Regie and Yolanda also discovered that the little girl they had brought home had a severe, mysterious disability that no specialist seemed to be able to pinpoint (later diagnosed as Angelman Syndrome). Years of confusion, round-the-clock care giving, life-altering sleep deprivation, and crushing medical bills left Regie facing ultimate financial ruin and a career that seemed over.
By 2008, Regie says, “I was at the end of my rope, basically out of the music entertainment business and struggling with what will I do with my life. I always had a strong sense of God. I never strayed far from that belief. I had gone astray with my own wrestling. There were lots of little epiphanies before I finally came face to face and realized who Jesus was to me on a personal level. The real epiphany came during American Idol.” At the request of his wife, Regie penned a song, "Time of My Life", for the American Idol songwriting contest and won. “There was a certain attitude the song had to have,” says Regie, “I tried writing the ‘if you just believe in yourself it will come through’ but I couldn’t get there. What I could wrap my mind around was, ‘now is what we have’ and how living in the moment can be the best thing.”
Although Regie did not receive any acknowledgement for his winning song on the American Idol broadcast, the song, "Time of My Life", received over 250,000 downloads in the next three days actually crashing the iTunes site. It was certified platinum in December 2008, for selling over 1 million digital downloads and also became the closing song at the Opening Ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics, the homeland of the child who inspired the song. The song spent four months at No.1 on the charts, and ultimately brought Regie's story to millions of people.
In addition to his performance and writing career, Regie is devoted to helping the causes of both adoption and Angelman Syndrome, the genetic disorder that affects his daughter, Isabella. “There are three organizations for Angelman Syndrome and we help out with all three,” says Regie.
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