Beth Nielsen Chapman

Top Albums by Beth Nielsen Chapman (See all 21 albums)


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At a Glance

Nationality: American
Born: Sep 11 1958


Biography

Born in Harlingen, Texas, smack in the middle of a family of five children, to an Air Force Major and a registered nurse, Beth grew up all over the place – a self-described “geographical mutt.” Her family finally settled in Alabama in 1969 when Beth was just going into the ninth grade, moving there from Munich, Germany. Crossing back over the ocean with her came her first guitar, a German made “Framus” that, though intended as a gift for Father’s Day, ended up in her room. Writing songs was immediate for her from the first chords she picked out by ear. “With the Vietnam war blazing, Martin ... Read more

Born in Harlingen, Texas, smack in the middle of a family of five children, to an Air Force Major and a registered nurse, Beth grew up all over the place – a self-described “geographical mutt.” Her family finally settled in Alabama in 1969 when Beth was just going into the ninth grade, moving there from Munich, Germany. Crossing back over the ocean with her came her first guitar, a German made “Framus” that, though intended as a gift for Father’s Day, ended up in her room. Writing songs was immediate for her from the first chords she picked out by ear. “With the Vietnam war blazing, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s death still fresh in the news, and my heart reeling from the shock of a school trip to Dachau (a concentration camp in Munich), the bubble of my childhood’s view of the world burst and I started to sense the existential depth of human suffering for the first time,”she recalls. “Then my Dad came home with the orders that we were moving to Montgomery, Alabama, the hotbed of the civil rights movement! I held onto that guitar for dear life!”

Alabama proved to be a place of much richness for Beth.She lived in Montgomery until she married in 1979 and relocated to Mobile, Alabama. (She has since received a special award from The Alabama Music Hall Of Fame and was recently the recipient of The Distinguished Artist Award from the Alabama State Council on the Arts.)

Hearing It First, her debut album, was recorded in Muscle Shoals and produced by Barry Beckett. Alas, it was released by Capitol Records in 1980 – in the midst of the disco craze. So Beth took a few years off and gave birth to a son, Ernest Chapman III. In 1985, with the help of music legends Mac MacAnally and Barry Beckett, her young family made the move to Nashville.

By 1990, she was writing #1 hits for Tanya Tucker and Willie Nelson and was signed as a pop artist to Warner/Reprise. Her first two albums for the label were critically lauded, sold respectably and spawned eight AC pop hits, earning her a devoted fan base at home and overseas, particularly in the UK, where she has consistently been embraced by the vastly popular BBC Radio 2.

In 1993, Nielsen Chapman's world was turned upside down when her husband was diagnosed with cancer. Three years after his death, the singer released a third album, 1997’s Sand And Water. The album's title song, a highly moving meditation on living, dying and surviving, took on a life of its own, bringing hope and comfort to countless people struggling with grief. It was performed by Elton John on his 1997 U.S. tour to honor the memory of Princess Diana. Then, in 2000, just as she was finishing a new record called Deeper Still, incredibly, Nielsen Chapman faced her own battle with breast cancer. Deeper Still, though not released until 2002, after her treatments and recovery, is filled with songs that seemed to foreshadow her diagnosis.

"It’s happened so many times in my writing - the songs have preceded the events," says Beth, who was named Nashville NAMMY’s 1999 Songwriter of the Year. "Seventy percent of Sand and Water was written a year and a half before my husband was diagnosed. I often just follow these lyric wisps and shadows until things start to form and take shape. So I can be working on a song with lines that are just coming together and not really know yet what I’m writing it about. It was amazing to me when it happened again with Deeper Still.”

Beth’s music has been used in numerous television shows and appeared on the soundtracks for movies such as “The Prince of Egypt,” “Message In A Bottle,” “The Rookie,” “Where The Heart Is” and “Practical Magic.” A renowned and in-demand songwriting teacher and creative coach, Nielsen Chapman has taught at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama, The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts and Berklee School of Music. So she knows more than a little about writer's block and how to deal with it. But when, after eight months of effort, she found herself unable to complete lyrics for some of Back To Love's key songs, her best friend and most frequent co-writer, Annie Roboff (with whom she co-wrote the Faith Hill chart-topper "This Kiss," which garnered a GRAMMY® nomination and was ASCAP’s 1999 Song Of The Year), sensed that something was very wrong.

"I was sitting and waiting, but lyrically, the writing was not happening," she remembers. "It was Annie who said, 'Something is not right.'"

One of Back To Love's solo-written songs, "Shadows," that reads as a kind of mirror image of Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now," seemed once again to portend trouble. “I remember telling Annie after finishing ‘Shadows’ how I was thinking ‘Wow, I almost sound like…I don’t know…like I’m under a rock or weighted down by something.’”

Doctors subsequently discovered that a fast growing but benign brain tumor was affecting the language center of her brain. After a successful operation, Beth’s creative muse returned in a rush.

"I woke up the morning after surgery and got the two lines I’d been struggling to figure out for 'How We Love,' just like that,” she says. “It was like my spirit was saying, 'Okay, we're back in business.'

“And one of my favorite songs on this collection, a song Annie and I had been working on for several years, “Even As It All Goes By,” just fell into place following my surgery. After countless hours of rewrites and brick walls between me and finishing that lyric….once the pressure was relieved, the creativity rebounded!” she explains. (“Even As It All Goes By” closed out 2009 as BBC Radio 2’s “Record of the Week” and was the only new single added to the “A List” of BBC Radio 2’s playlist at the top of 2010.)

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

Born in Harlingen, Texas, smack in the middle of a family of five children, to an Air Force Major and a registered nurse, Beth grew up all over the place – a self-described “geographical mutt.” Her family finally settled in Alabama in 1969 when Beth was just going into the ninth grade, moving there from Munich, Germany. Crossing back over the ocean with her came her first guitar, a German made “Framus” that, though intended as a gift for Father’s Day, ended up in her room. Writing songs was immediate for her from the first chords she picked out by ear. “With the Vietnam war blazing, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s death still fresh in the news, and my heart reeling from the shock of a school trip to Dachau (a concentration camp in Munich), the bubble of my childhood’s view of the world burst and I started to sense the existential depth of human suffering for the first time,”she recalls. “Then my Dad came home with the orders that we were moving to Montgomery, Alabama, the hotbed of the civil rights movement! I held onto that guitar for dear life!”

Alabama proved to be a place of much richness for Beth.She lived in Montgomery until she married in 1979 and relocated to Mobile, Alabama. (She has since received a special award from The Alabama Music Hall Of Fame and was recently the recipient of The Distinguished Artist Award from the Alabama State Council on the Arts.)

Hearing It First, her debut album, was recorded in Muscle Shoals and produced by Barry Beckett. Alas, it was released by Capitol Records in 1980 – in the midst of the disco craze. So Beth took a few years off and gave birth to a son, Ernest Chapman III. In 1985, with the help of music legends Mac MacAnally and Barry Beckett, her young family made the move to Nashville.

By 1990, she was writing #1 hits for Tanya Tucker and Willie Nelson and was signed as a pop artist to Warner/Reprise. Her first two albums for the label were critically lauded, sold respectably and spawned eight AC pop hits, earning her a devoted fan base at home and overseas, particularly in the UK, where she has consistently been embraced by the vastly popular BBC Radio 2.

In 1993, Nielsen Chapman's world was turned upside down when her husband was diagnosed with cancer. Three years after his death, the singer released a third album, 1997’s Sand And Water. The album's title song, a highly moving meditation on living, dying and surviving, took on a life of its own, bringing hope and comfort to countless people struggling with grief. It was performed by Elton John on his 1997 U.S. tour to honor the memory of Princess Diana. Then, in 2000, just as she was finishing a new record called Deeper Still, incredibly, Nielsen Chapman faced her own battle with breast cancer. Deeper Still, though not released until 2002, after her treatments and recovery, is filled with songs that seemed to foreshadow her diagnosis.

"It’s happened so many times in my writing - the songs have preceded the events," says Beth, who was named Nashville NAMMY’s 1999 Songwriter of the Year. "Seventy percent of Sand and Water was written a year and a half before my husband was diagnosed. I often just follow these lyric wisps and shadows until things start to form and take shape. So I can be working on a song with lines that are just coming together and not really know yet what I’m writing it about. It was amazing to me when it happened again with Deeper Still.”

Beth’s music has been used in numerous television shows and appeared on the soundtracks for movies such as “The Prince of Egypt,” “Message In A Bottle,” “The Rookie,” “Where The Heart Is” and “Practical Magic.” A renowned and in-demand songwriting teacher and creative coach, Nielsen Chapman has taught at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama, The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts and Berklee School of Music. So she knows more than a little about writer's block and how to deal with it. But when, after eight months of effort, she found herself unable to complete lyrics for some of Back To Love's key songs, her best friend and most frequent co-writer, Annie Roboff (with whom she co-wrote the Faith Hill chart-topper "This Kiss," which garnered a GRAMMY® nomination and was ASCAP’s 1999 Song Of The Year), sensed that something was very wrong.

"I was sitting and waiting, but lyrically, the writing was not happening," she remembers. "It was Annie who said, 'Something is not right.'"

One of Back To Love's solo-written songs, "Shadows," that reads as a kind of mirror image of Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now," seemed once again to portend trouble. “I remember telling Annie after finishing ‘Shadows’ how I was thinking ‘Wow, I almost sound like…I don’t know…like I’m under a rock or weighted down by something.’”

Doctors subsequently discovered that a fast growing but benign brain tumor was affecting the language center of her brain. After a successful operation, Beth’s creative muse returned in a rush.

"I woke up the morning after surgery and got the two lines I’d been struggling to figure out for 'How We Love,' just like that,” she says. “It was like my spirit was saying, 'Okay, we're back in business.'

“And one of my favorite songs on this collection, a song Annie and I had been working on for several years, “Even As It All Goes By,” just fell into place following my surgery. After countless hours of rewrites and brick walls between me and finishing that lyric….once the pressure was relieved, the creativity rebounded!” she explains. (“Even As It All Goes By” closed out 2009 as BBC Radio 2’s “Record of the Week” and was the only new single added to the “A List” of BBC Radio 2’s playlist at the top of 2010.)

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

Born in Harlingen, Texas, smack in the middle of a family of five children, to an Air Force Major and a registered nurse, Beth grew up all over the place – a self-described “geographical mutt.” Her family finally settled in Alabama in 1969 when Beth was just going into the ninth grade, moving there from Munich, Germany. Crossing back over the ocean with her came her first guitar, a German made “Framus” that, though intended as a gift for Father’s Day, ended up in her room. Writing songs was immediate for her from the first chords she picked out by ear. “With the Vietnam war blazing, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s death still fresh in the news, and my heart reeling from the shock of a school trip to Dachau (a concentration camp in Munich), the bubble of my childhood’s view of the world burst and I started to sense the existential depth of human suffering for the first time,”she recalls. “Then my Dad came home with the orders that we were moving to Montgomery, Alabama, the hotbed of the civil rights movement! I held onto that guitar for dear life!”

Alabama proved to be a place of much richness for Beth.She lived in Montgomery until she married in 1979 and relocated to Mobile, Alabama. (She has since received a special award from The Alabama Music Hall Of Fame and was recently the recipient of The Distinguished Artist Award from the Alabama State Council on the Arts.)

Hearing It First, her debut album, was recorded in Muscle Shoals and produced by Barry Beckett. Alas, it was released by Capitol Records in 1980 – in the midst of the disco craze. So Beth took a few years off and gave birth to a son, Ernest Chapman III. In 1985, with the help of music legends Mac MacAnally and Barry Beckett, her young family made the move to Nashville.

By 1990, she was writing #1 hits for Tanya Tucker and Willie Nelson and was signed as a pop artist to Warner/Reprise. Her first two albums for the label were critically lauded, sold respectably and spawned eight AC pop hits, earning her a devoted fan base at home and overseas, particularly in the UK, where she has consistently been embraced by the vastly popular BBC Radio 2.

In 1993, Nielsen Chapman's world was turned upside down when her husband was diagnosed with cancer. Three years after his death, the singer released a third album, 1997’s Sand And Water. The album's title song, a highly moving meditation on living, dying and surviving, took on a life of its own, bringing hope and comfort to countless people struggling with grief. It was performed by Elton John on his 1997 U.S. tour to honor the memory of Princess Diana. Then, in 2000, just as she was finishing a new record called Deeper Still, incredibly, Nielsen Chapman faced her own battle with breast cancer. Deeper Still, though not released until 2002, after her treatments and recovery, is filled with songs that seemed to foreshadow her diagnosis.

"It’s happened so many times in my writing - the songs have preceded the events," says Beth, who was named Nashville NAMMY’s 1999 Songwriter of the Year. "Seventy percent of Sand and Water was written a year and a half before my husband was diagnosed. I often just follow these lyric wisps and shadows until things start to form and take shape. So I can be working on a song with lines that are just coming together and not really know yet what I’m writing it about. It was amazing to me when it happened again with Deeper Still.”

Beth’s music has been used in numerous television shows and appeared on the soundtracks for movies such as “The Prince of Egypt,” “Message In A Bottle,” “The Rookie,” “Where The Heart Is” and “Practical Magic.” A renowned and in-demand songwriting teacher and creative coach, Nielsen Chapman has taught at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama, The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts and Berklee School of Music. So she knows more than a little about writer's block and how to deal with it. But when, after eight months of effort, she found herself unable to complete lyrics for some of Back To Love's key songs, her best friend and most frequent co-writer, Annie Roboff (with whom she co-wrote the Faith Hill chart-topper "This Kiss," which garnered a GRAMMY® nomination and was ASCAP’s 1999 Song Of The Year), sensed that something was very wrong.

"I was sitting and waiting, but lyrically, the writing was not happening," she remembers. "It was Annie who said, 'Something is not right.'"

One of Back To Love's solo-written songs, "Shadows," that reads as a kind of mirror image of Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now," seemed once again to portend trouble. “I remember telling Annie after finishing ‘Shadows’ how I was thinking ‘Wow, I almost sound like…I don’t know…like I’m under a rock or weighted down by something.’”

Doctors subsequently discovered that a fast growing but benign brain tumor was affecting the language center of her brain. After a successful operation, Beth’s creative muse returned in a rush.

"I woke up the morning after surgery and got the two lines I’d been struggling to figure out for 'How We Love,' just like that,” she says. “It was like my spirit was saying, 'Okay, we're back in business.'

“And one of my favorite songs on this collection, a song Annie and I had been working on for several years, “Even As It All Goes By,” just fell into place following my surgery. After countless hours of rewrites and brick walls between me and finishing that lyric….once the pressure was relieved, the creativity rebounded!” she explains. (“Even As It All Goes By” closed out 2009 as BBC Radio 2’s “Record of the Week” and was the only new single added to the “A List” of BBC Radio 2’s playlist at the top of 2010.)

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

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