WANT TO GO?
WHERE: Atmosphere Ultra Lounge, 706-708 Lee St.
WHEN: 8:30 p.m. Friday
TICKETS: General admission $15, premium $30, VIP $50
INFO: 304-343-3737 or www.facebook.com/prideWVCHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Singer/songwriter Jennifer Knapp has more or less settled into her life outside of Christian contemporary music.
In the mid- and late-1990s, Knapp was an up-and-coming Christian performer with a gold record, a Grammy nomination and two Dove Awards. The young artist's future seemed very bright, but in 2002, she walked away.
It wasn't an easy choice for the singer, who performs Friday at the Atmosphere Lounge, but it was absolutely necessary.
"I remember distinctly this feeling that I had nothing else to contribute or nothing new to that particular conversation," she said.
It wasn't so much about a loss of faith, Knapp said, but a loss of faith in the faith music business. So in 2002, the Kansas native quit. She hung up her microphone, left the stage, moved to Australia and more or less dropped out of sight.
Three years ago, Knapp had a change of heart -- at least about performing music. She returned to the States and cut a record. Then she hit the road to explain that she was back in music but not on the Christian scene.
"In 2010, there was a lot of anticipation for me coming back and doing music," she said. "Part of that was getting the word to that community that I was back, but also confronting the fact that I wasn't doing Christian music."
She also went public about her sexual orientation.
Knapp came out as a lesbian, something not well received in Christian music circles. She was immediately criticized for going against her faith or abandoning Christianity in favor of a lifestyle choice. Interviews with the mainstream Christian press got pointed, and Knapp remembered it as being "a gauntlet."