This is Lauren Daigle’s third year reigning as Billboard’s top Christian artist. But her music—from powerful reminders of God’s presence to the comforting nostalgia of Christmas—has struck her differently in 2020.
In an interview with Christianity Today, the singer talked about seeing her recordings in a new light, describing the songwriting process as a “prophetic exchange” with God. She marvels at how the Lord has used her songs, which broke records on the Christian charts, to speak into a moment she never could have imagined.
“It’s wild how sometimes God will write through you. You don’t necessarily know what’s on the other side. When you see the time in which [a song] was meant to live, you know you couldn’t have done this if you tried,” the singer said.
Daigle points specifically to “Rescue,” from her 2018 Grammy-winning album Look Up Child, which begins, “You are not hidden / There’s never been a moment you were forgotten / You are not hopeless / Though you have been broken, your innocence stolen.” She said a forthcoming release, “Hold On to Me,” was written before the pandemic but will take on new meaning for weary listeners when it comes out next year.
Christmas music has always been special to Daigle and some of her favorite to sing. She says the texture and character in traditional Christmas songs make it easy to get lost in the wonder of the season. This year, fans have cued up their Christmas playlists early and are eager for familiar holiday cheer after a difficult year.
In 2016, Daigle released Behold: A Christmas Collection, which reached the 29th spot on the Billboard 200. Her versions of Christmas favorites like “What Child Is This?,” “The Christmas Song,” and “Winter Wonderland” paid tribute to her musical influences and her Louisiana home.
Four years later, Behold still “represents the nostalgia of what I was raised on,” she told CT. “That goes to the core of who I am as a creative.”
She’ll be singing songs from the album as well as hits like “You Say” during an upcoming BYUtv special, Christmas Under the Stars, premiering on December 6. During a year when many people will be apart from loved ones, Daigle is excited to be able to share the kinds of classic songs that make the holidays special for her, celebrating in her native Lake Charles.
“I love the way it feels and the nostalgia that it brings for so many people,” she said. “Just to be part of bringing that into people’s homes over the Christmas season, it means so much.”
In addition to the songs recorded before a live audience, the hour-long special—Daigle’s first televised concert—will also include more intimate performances filmed in a studio setting.
In early November, Daigle performed at an outdoor worship service held by musician Sean Feucht in New Orleans’s French Quarter. Critics decried Daigle’s appearance at an event with thousands of unmasked spectators at a time the COVID-19 cases were spiking in the city.
Daigle said she gathers every year with her immediate family on Christmas Eve for games and gifts and that there’s always plenty of laughter and Cajun food with her “vivacious” family.
On Christmas Day, Daigle’s extended family gathers for more feasting and fun. While the extended family gathering might be smaller this year, Daigle said she will still spend time with as much of her family as she can. Her family prioritizes relationships, especially with elderly loved ones who might be around only for a few more family holidays.
“Let’s be smart, let’s be wise, and if someone’s sick, stay home,” she said. “But if not, let’s still get together and lavish love on each other.”
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