zonkeu.com – It was unexpected that Anne Wilson was nominated for a Grammy because she had never sung in public. Anne Wilson adored her older brother. “He was my best friend,” Wilson, 20, tells PEOPLE of his brother Jacob. “He was a very nice person. He never gossiped about anyone. He was the life of the party and always did what he could to include those who were being left out. He’s always been the go-to guy and you know he can be trusted. He was an incredible person.”
And during their eight-year separation, the siblings spent many days cruising the back roads of Kentucky, listening to country music and dreaming about where their lives would take them.
“One of my brother’s favorite songs was ‘Seminole Wind,'” he says of the John Anderson hit. “My brother’s country voice was so cute. We used to play ‘Seminol Wind’ in the car all the time,” she says with a laugh. “It was the cutest thing.”
But Wilson’s brother never heard her sing. That is, until Wilson finds the strength to sing at his brother’s funeral. Jacob Wilson was involved in a tragic car accident just before midnight on June 6, 2017 — and it was his sister who sang “What a Lovely Name” at his service, leading to a moment that quickly went viral.
It was Wilson’s first public performance, and it was the performance that changed the course of Wilson’s life forever, as the Kentucky native who once dreamed of becoming an astronaut became one of contemporary Christian music’s most dynamic pioneers at once. Says Wilson, whose debut single “My Jesus” went straight to #1 on the Billboard Christian Airplay chart in 2021. “What he did in my life was truly amazing. It was very interesting to see that you have an idea for your life and then he has another idea. It may be completely different, but it’s everything you’ve ever needed and dreamed of.”
And now Wilson is the only female Grammy nominee for Best Contemporary Christian Album for her debut album, My Jesus. As she sat in Dunkin’ car, she realized her involvement had changed her life.
“I started getting all these texts and I pulled out my phone and saw I was nominated for a Grammy,” recalls Wilson, who will make his Grand Ole Opry debut in 2021. “It was completely unexpected. I had to stop. I started crying thinking about how far God has taken me since losing my brother.”
And she knows it’s Jacob who would have been very excited. “He just called me crying and mad about everything,” says Wilson, whose new song “Living Water” is the soundtrack to the upcoming movie Jesus Revolution, starring Kelsey Grammer. “I know he would be proud of me. Yes, I think he will definitely be with me on the road, protect me and watch over me. He was my protector. He supported me in everything I did.”
take a deep breath. “Although I didn’t spend much time with [Jacob], I’m grateful for the 15 years I spent with him, idealizing his life and work to become more and more like him. He was incredible.” ”
The 2023 Grammy Awards will be broadcast live on February 1. From Crypto.com Arena on CBS at 8:05 p.m. ET.