Funny thing about the music business, talent isn’t a guarantee of success, at least not commercial success. If it was then everyone would know the name Ashley Cleveland. Ashley is a singer/songwriter extraordinaire. And while she has enjoyed substantial critical success, many Christian radio listeners would have a hard time identifying her. That’s a shame.
I’m not exactly sure why Ashley hasn’t enjoyed a greater degree of chart and airplay success. Perhaps it’s her overpowering vocals or hard-to-categorize style. She is often compared to Melissa Etheridge and Bonnie Rait. Ashley is the first female nominee in the Grammy Awards Best Rock Gospel category, in 1999 for the 1998 album “You Are There.” She won that year and has since been nominated two additional times, winning each time, making her the only artist with three nominations and three wins in the category.
Ashley started her career as a session vocalist, singing on over 200 records before releasing her first solo album, “Big Town,” in 1991. She has released 10 albums in all, the most recent coming out in February 2018, “One More Song.”
Perhaps her best known song was not on one of her own records and was written by Amy Grant. Ashley did a duet with Gary Chapman, who was married to Amy at the time, on the song “Where Do I Go,” on the “Songs From The Loft” album released in 1993.
Here’s a fan-generated video of “Where Do I Go,” Ashley’s duet with Gary Chapman from the 1993 “Songs From The Loft.”
From her latest album, the 2018 “One More Song,” this is “Way Out Of No Way.”
In 2005 Ashley released an album of hymns, done in her own unique style. In 1999 she did a tour with Margaret Becker, “Stories and Strings” that featured a set of hymns, many of which made it to this record. Here’s two of them, “Come Thou Fount” and “It Is Well With My Soul.”
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