Mar 14, 2015

What if it's love? Prince does Contemporary Christian Music

Prince's version of Nicole Nordeman's worship song, What if?
But what if you're wrong?
What if there's more?
What if there's hope
you never dreamed of hoping for?
What if you jump?
Just close your eyes?
What if the arms that catch you
catch you by surprise?
What if He's more than enough?
What if it's love?
The musician Prince has released a new single, surprising even industry insiders by covering a Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) song about faith overcoming doubt.

The original is by Nicole Nordeman, a Gospel Music Association Dove-winning artist with a long career behind her. Nordeman has recently gained some fame among evangelicals for writing and performing a song on a Bible concept album accompanying Zondervan's Bible-reading program, The Story, which has been used in many evangelical churches. Nordeman also wrote and performed the theme song for VeggieTales' 2010 production Sweetpea Beauty.

Nordeman's music is not widely known outside of evangelicalism, though, and wasn't seen an obvious choice for Prince.

"Sure, Prince has sang about God and religion for years," Billboard reports, "but he usually doesn't release studio versions of cover songs -- much less covers of songs by a VeggieTales vet."

Prince is a Jehovah's Witness, so the song about choosing faith in Jesus may have resonated for religious reasons. He is also known, more than anything, for surprising the music industry experts.

The release kicks off Prince's current tour, the Hit & Run Tour, where pop-up shows will be announced only briefly before they happen. The first four shows are in Louisville, Ky. The new song was played for the first time on a Louisville radio station, accompanying the announcement of the "spontaneous" concerts.

Reportedly Prince first heard the song on Christian radio.

Nordeman, in an official statement, said the cover is a testament to the power of the many, mostly small evangelical radio stations that play CCM.

"Far too often Christian radio is accused of existing solely to preach to the choir," she wrote. "But Prince heard a song about the transforming love of Jesus on Christian radio and now has given it a much wider audience than I ever did or could.

"I thought about that all day yesterday."

Nordeman's version of the song What If: