This is Amazing Grace

Album: The Ascension (2013)

Songfacts®:

  • This praise song was written by Phil Wickham with worship leader Jeremy Riddle and Josh Farro, the former guitarist of Paramore. It originally appeared on the Bethel Music live album, For The Sake of the World, sung by Jeremy Riddle. The tune only really took off after Wickham recorded it for his The Ascension album. His version was certified RIAA Gold and was the most played song on Christian radio for 2014.
  • The powerful anthem has become a popular choice when Christians worship together. In 2015 it was recognized by Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI) as the most-sung praise song in the North American church.
  • Phil Wickham originally wrote the worship anthem with Josh Farro, when he was still in Paramore. (Josh left the band with his brother Zac in 2010). Wickham recalled the story of the song to NewReleaseToday:

    "He wanted to get together with me and write a worship song. I guess he just wanted to get out of his musical world for a little bit. We had a great hang, and hung out together and worshipped the Lord together. He brought an idea, and I had an idea, and that became the bones for this song. We wrote the chorus, and had some verse ideas. It happened in about 20 minutes, and we high fived and just hung out the rest of the day.

    We did record a really lo-fi demo version into my laptop just to remember the song. Over the next year or two, somehow he passed the song idea on to a pastor friend who went to the UK and passed it on to someone else. I'm not totally sure the story, but it ended up on someone's iPhone who went to a conference at Bethel Church in Redding, California.

    Jeremy Riddle, who is one of the worship leaders there, asked if he could rewrite the verses and put it on their Bethel Live CD. Honestly, since we hadn't thought of the song in years, we were totally cool with that. Like Jeremy does, he nailed it and hit it out of the park with amazing lyrics about the greatness of the God who gave His life for us. What he did with it was so great, and ever since, I've been leading the song in its current form at my home church.

    I recorded it because I wanted to include the song on my album. We started singing it the way Bethel recorded the song, and there was more of brooding, moody, passionate vibe. We decided to make the song more of a celebration and a party. We made it a little more uptempo, with a four on the floor synthesizer musical vibe. I'm just so happy to have been part of the writing of the song."

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