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Country music star Collin Raye (Courtesy of CollinRaye.com © 2011)
Country music star Collin Raye doesn’t just sing his heart out, he also wears his heart on his sleeve.
As spokesman for the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network, Raye boldly defends the fundamental human right to life and calls people to political action.
He recently released “His Love Remains” for the love of God and his late granddaughter, who died at the age of 10 from neurological disorders that impaired her breathing.
“I made a decision years ago, especially during Haley’s illness, to focus on what’s important and my fans responded accordingly,” Raye told WND. “This album is the first time I’ve been able to say, ‘I’m a Christian music artist and I’m lovin’ it!’
“If you take a stand on issues, some people are going to get upset. But for the most part, my fans have responded with great support because they know I’m passionate about my faith and it’s just about deciding to fight the good fight above board and in front of everybody instead of trying to do it behind the scenes.”
Bobby Schindler, brother of the late Terri Schiavo and co-executive director of the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network, said, “Collin can do a lot. He can bring awareness to the issue [of caring for disabled persons] because Terri’s death is still being reported in ways that are confusing to the public. The secular media aren’t about news, they’re about their agenda. And quite frankly, they’re still out, I think, to justify Terri’s death.”
Raye earned fans in 1991 with his song “Love, Me” and his string of No. 1 hits includes “On the Verge,” “One Boy, One Girl,” “What the Heart Wants,” “Every Second” and “That Was a River.”
Speaking of “His Love Remains,” Raye said, “It certainly was a labor of love because it’s a project I had wanted to do my entire career, 20 years or so, but I didn’t really think anyone would ever ask me to. It’s very hard when you’re a secular artist and you’re known as a quote-unquote country singer or pop singer or whatever – it’s very difficult to change your spots so-to-speak. A lot of artists might put out a hymns record knowing that that they’re going to come right back to what they normally do.
“In my case,” said Raye, “this album is a statement of what I really am and what I would like to be for the rest of my life, if God will allow me to sing songs that praise Him and tell people, just remind people, about how much He does love us and how beautiful and how wonderful the whole thing is – the whole plan of salvation – He set up for us.”
Raye talks about “His Love Remains” and shows some of his recording sessions:
Raye hopes his album will inspire those who struggle during the holidays – or any day. Thus, he recorded classics such as Bach’s “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee,” Schubert’s “Ave Maria,” Newton’s “Amazing Grace,” as well as “Undefeated,” which Raye wrote with his daughter Britanny, the mother of Haley.
“This is a time of year when some people are hopeful and some can be sad and melancholy,” said Raye. “If you’ve gone through some sorrow – we just experienced it again, it was our second Christmas that Haley our granddaughter was absent – it’s hard and I don’t think that’s ever going away in this lifetime, so my daughter and I have those moments of huge loss because there’s such a ‘we’re all family’ vibe about Christmas that when a key member of your family, especially a child, is gone, it hurts.
“But then there’s great joy in knowing – imagining – the celebration she’s attending in heaven for Christmas. What the church celebrates on earth is celebrated in heaven and I can’t even fathom what that must be like, but I know Haley is in the lap of the Lord and that’s what gives me inspiration to keep going.”
Raye’s favorite reviews come straight from his listeners.
“Some of the more common statements I get from people are that they had sort of lost their way or became very apathetic about their faith or lackadaisical in taking [their] souls for granted,” he said. “What I’m hearing a lot is that this album has inspired people. Some say they feel like they’re believers for the first time; some say it’s refreshing them; and I just sit back and smile because it’s not me. All I did was make the commitment, sing these songs to the best of my ability – using my voice that’s a gift from God – and the Holy Spirit does everything else. So it’s Him working and I just feel very humbled that He’s using me to touch people and help them.”
Raye has eight million album sales to his credit, but the music business is expensive. As a result, Raye netted a modest profit and spent much seeking a cure for Haley. Now he’s an independent performer who lives month-to-month and trusts in God’s providence as he delves into politics.
Obamacare is a direct result of the way many, perhaps most, college-aged kids voted in 2008.
Therefore, on January 22, one day before the 2012 March for Life in Washington, D.C., Raye will meet young adults and perform at the Students for Life of America National Conference. Raye, a Texan, also looks forward to sporting a parka so he can play guitar and sing at the outdoor National Pro-Life Youth Rally in Washington, D.C. on January 23.
“I’m so excited to go to the March for Life and I’m so excited and humbled to be a part of the conference and the rally,” he said.
“A person can become very, very depressed about the future of America if you just watch mainstream TV.” Raye discussed the “culture of death” agenda “aggressively” taught by many college and university instructors, then added, “Just to hear those [pro-life] kids and see them will uplift me spiritually as they put themselves out there in the January cold to march for God and for the truth.”