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Jonathan has broken into the music scene with great success and many top songs since the release of his first album in 1996. Wanting to expand creatively, he took the starring role in the touring troupe of the Broadway play Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Many Dove nominations later, Jonathan has stretched even more creatively - into the area of interior design. Early last year his two passions merged when he was selected lead designer for CMT's Ultimate Country Home series. Jonathan guided many country-singing greats in designing a 3,650-square-foot house over the course of 13 episodes.
He'd never publicized his work as a designer prior to this. In earlier times, he'd once filled the days between concert dates by designing homes for some of Nashville's most notable families. Jonathan was at a creative crossroads when the CMT opportunity came along. By industry standards he was successful; comparisons were made to all the big power singers. But Jonathan was miserable because though he could hide behind his voice, there was so much he wanted to become and to do. So he pulled aside from his career and music for an extended hiatus.
It was during this time that he came to a new level musically and professionally. On For You, the first single is co-written by singer Michael Bolton and Jonathan sings a song written by Sting. "Love Will Happen" is dedicated to Mercy Ministries of America, a non-profit group that assists young women challenged by abuse, addiction, pregnancy, and eating disorders. Jonathan says he will support Mercy Ministries at their 30-bed facility in St. Louis. Joyce Meyer is also supporting this project.
He also says he could not have made these significant changes in his life without the support of his wife of nine years, Denise. When things got tough, she would intercede for him when he couldn't pray for himself. He lost his dear mother to cancer in March.
Teaching to the Choir
Jonathan grew up in the small town of Odessa, Texas, and credits his parents with instilling strong Christian values into his life as he grew up. His parents were youth workers and choir member and continued to influence Jonathan over the years. After he moved to Nashville as a teenager, Jonathan started a youth choir at Christ Church, which is known for ministering through their music and choir around the world. While directing his peers in the choir, Jonathan discovered the power and appeal of music. His experience at the church gave him the confidence to launch out on his own solo career. When asked how he became a success in the contemporary Christian music scene, he says, "The church has to be credited with everything, what I've done, who I am. That's where I got my vocal experience and passion [for music]."
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