Jason Crabb: A country boy at ease with Lady Gaga

A Gram­my Award adorns Jason Crabb’s man­tel along with numer­ous Dove Awards, but the Gospel music artist is not slow­ing down, even after gar­ner­ing eight Dove Award nom­i­na­tions this year.

Oh, no, now is not the time,” Crabb said of tak­ing a break. “The­se things fire me up. We are work­ing on a spe­cial fam­i­ly album, with songs we grew up with – hymns, spe­cial and reg­u­lar church ser­vices. I’m prepar­ing songs for a solo project. And I’m work­ing on anoth­er book – a children’s series. So I’m thrilled about that.”

But wait there’s more on Crabb’s sched­ule.

And what I’m real­ly hyped about is work­ing on a pos­i­tive film. It’s my first act­ing part,” he explained, “and my fam­i­ly has a small part in it, and boy, they are all hyped. The kids are telling their friends they are going to be in a movie.

It’s a great sto­ry with a pos­i­tive mes­sage. I play an artist that encour­ages a young man,” Crabb explained. “And that’s real­ly me and how I live. I like shar­ing and encour­ag­ing peo­ple. God gave you your dreams to work toward. Not to ignore them. God gave them to you to work on. So go after it. Live out your life’s dreams. Go after them. You can make them hap­pen.”

Grow­ing up in Beaver Dam, Ky., a town of about 3,000, Crabb can relate to the young man chas­ing his dreams in what can seem like an insur­mount­able chal­lenge.

If you look at my sur­round­ings and where I grew up you would think you would nev­er be able to be suc­cess­ful,” Crabb said. “Liv­ing in a town that didn’t have a lot to offer – but it taught me how to treat peo­ple — there were no record com­pa­nies on Main Street. All we knew was coal min­ing and work­ing at the lum­ber­yard. But you can’t let your sur­round­ings dic­tate your dreams. You got to make it hap­pen. Nev­er give up.”

But those dreams were almost derailed by a rebel­lious peri­od in Crabb’s life when he was in his ear­ly teens – a time he writes about in his book “Trust­ing God to Get You Through.”

When I was 13, I turned down a rocky road,” he said. “My dad and mom got divorced, and it was a rough deal for me. I used it as an excuse to be rebel­lious. And you know, a lot of peo­ple who are rebel­lious are look­ing for an excuse. I didn’t want to take respon­si­bil­i­ty for my actions. I was frus­trat­ed. I was bit­ter. I was run­ning with the wrong peo­ple.

Thank God, he kept his hand on me through a lot of pray­ing by my fam­i­ly mem­bers. … And I said this prayer, ‘God I’m sor­ry. Take all my life.’ And that’s when things changed. My dad remar­ried, and my mom remar­ried. … I’m very thank­ful for the Crabb fam­i­ly. God pulled me back through music. I knew I had to change and change friends, and He did that through music. And I share that with peo­ple. I try to push peo­ple toward their dreams. Some­thing to work toward, and I pray with them. I’m here to help them. And share my sto­ry about my life.”

Crabb’s life took a U-turn back to the pos­i­tive as his fam­i­ly pushed him into singing with his sib­lings and form­ing The Crabb Fam­i­ly, which has won more than a dozen Dove Awards and gar­nered three Gram­my nom­i­na­tions. After 15 years togeth­er, Jason and his sib­lings took a break. And in 2009, Jason won a Gram­my for his self-title debut album. But win­ning the cov­et­ed award didn’t change this coun­try boy, who found him­self in a humor­ous posi­tion on the red car­pet.

Oh that was a fun trip,” Crabb explained. “Here I am a back­woods coun­try boy with a coun­try twang, and my Eng­lish is butchered. And I remem­ber I want­ed to do every­thing right, rent­ed a limo. … And there, EVERYBODY walks the red car­pet.

And I remem­ber telling my wife when we walked out of the limo, ‘Baby, I don’t want to stick out with my talk­ing. I don’t want to come off like a coun­try bump­kin.’ Well, as soon as we were walk­ing down the red car­pet, Lady Gaga pulls up. And she gets out with this huge out­fit. She had a scepter and this big ol’ dress. And this big hat that looked like the Stat­ue of Lib­er­ty. And I said to my wife, ‘Baby, I don’t think we stick out near­ly enough.’ It real­ly eased my thoughts. It was fun­ny in itself. It was a great moment just to be there and rep­re­sent Gospel music.”

Along with feel­ing at ease because of Lady Gaga, Crabb found him­self a fan when he met Eric Delko, aka Adam Rodriguez.

My favorite show is CSI,” Crabb said. “And I got to meet Eric Delko! I want­ed to take pic­tures with him, but the bat­tery on my phone was dead. So he said he would take the pic­ture and text me. So not only do I just get a pic­ture, but I got his phone num­ber. Now tell the peo­ple back home that,” he said as he chuck­led. “It’s kin­da cool.”

Kin­da cool. Yes, Jason Crabb is just like the rest of us. A fan of TV shows, a teen who strug­gled when his par­ents got divorced, but what sets him apart is he fol­lowed his dreams and didn’t let his sur­round­ings or the naysay­ers stop him from achiev­ing his goals.

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