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Sandi Patty (born July 12, 1956 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma), known as "The Voice" is an American Contemporary Christian music singer.
Patty was born into a family of musicians; her father was a minister of music and her mother served as the church pianist.
She first performed at the age of two when she sang "Jesus Loves Me" for her church.
A few years later, she and her brothers joined her parents in a performing group, known as "The Ron Patty Family," and sang at churches across the nation during summer holidays.
After high school graduation from Crawford High in San Diego, CA, she attended San Diego State University and Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana, where she studied voice and conducting.
While studying at Anderson University, she worked as a studio musician for area recording studios, singing background vocals and recording commercial jingles, including one for Juicy Fruit gum.
Her reputation as a performer and studio singer grew during the late 1970s, and it was during this time that she initiated contact with legendary CCM musician, Bill Gaither.
Patty recorded her first album, For My Friends, an independent effort, that landed in the hands of executives at Singspiration! records. In 1979, she was signed to Singspiration! and released her first professional record, Sandi's Song.
According to the FAQ section on her website, the name on her birth certificate is Sandra Patty. A printer's error on the labeling listed her name as Sandi Patti, and she used this moniker as her stage name for the next fifteen years, before correcting it to Sandi Patty.
Her career excelled after she won her first two GMA Dove Awards in 1982, and began singing backup for Bill Gaither and the Bill Gaither Trio. She headlined her first national tour in 1984, and reached national acclaim after her rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" was included during the ABC Statue of Liberty rededication broadcast on July 4, 1986.
This exposure led to multiple mainstream television appearances including The Tonight Show, Christmas in Washington, and Walt Disney's Fourth of July Extravaganza.
At the peak of her career, her concerts were so heavily attended that she performed in often sold-out mainstream arenas and concert halls.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Sandi Patty averaged over 200 concerts a year, and supported a staff of over 30 that managed her career.
During this time she was noted, often critically, as the
In 1992, her surprising divorce from manager John Helvering rocked the Gospel Music industry, and this was later followed by an infidelity scandal that subsequently stalled her career in the mid-'90s.
However, she slowly rebuilt her career through expanding her musical appeal, performing pops concerts with symphony orchestras including the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Cincinnati Pops, the Dallas Symphony and repeatedly served as master of ceremonies for the Yuletide Celebration with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.
More recently, she appeared in the 2006 annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. A televised performance of Sandi Patty's Yuletide Special was filmed for syndication in 2006, with other performers including the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the U.S. Air Force Reserve Band. Patty has recorded thirty albums, selling over eleven million units.
She has been awarded five Grammys, four Billboard Music Awards, and is one the most-accoladed artists in the history of the Gospel Music Association, earning a record thirty-nine Dove Awards. In 2004, she was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, and in August, 2007, she was awarded the GMA Music in the Rockies Summit Award.
In May 2008, Patty released her 30th studio recording, Songs For The Journey, in which she covers classic hymns of the church and other modern gospel classics.