Tony Cummings reports on a new to the scene singer from Louisiana, LAUREN DAIGLE
In these changing times it's a single rather than an album which launches many Christian music artists. And this has been the case for Lauren Daigle of Lafayette, Louisiana. Last year Lauren's "How Can It Be" reached number five in the US Christian charts. Writer Kevin Davis succinctly described the haunting worship number, "The song is an excellent depiction of the sacrifice and unmerited grace of our advocate and redeemer and it serves as a gorgeous offering to our Saviour Jesus."
Lauren remembered the first time she heard "How Can It Be": "We were going over songs for my EP and my producer Paul Mabury sat down with me and asked to share this song. He thought I might like it. I listened to this song that Paul wrote with Jason Ingram and Jeff Johnson, and as the song played tears started coming down my face and I was amazed by it. Then, Paul asked if he could paint a picture for me. He told me the story of the woman caught in adultery in the Bible, and asked me to imagine Jesus bending down and writing in the sand, and all of a sudden the crowd threw this woman at his feet and said, 'Look at what she's done, shouldn't we stone her? That's what the law requires.'"
Lauren continued, "Not only was she humiliated, but they threw the law into the mix. That kind of judgment is so wretched. Jesus gets up and instead of saying 'You're right, that's what she deserves,' he steps into that moment of being on the Cross and shows her what his purpose was before he even fulfilled it. When Paul told me that story, I thought about everything I had ever done to offend anyone. Things I've said and done that have hurt people and me. Beyond that, things I've done, knowing they were wrong, before the Lord. In the middle of that, Jesus offers us this relentless grace that is so overwhelming. I could identify with the weight of sin that the woman must have felt, knowing how much that breaks the Father's heart. But because of his goodness, this song made grace make sense to me in a new way."
Lauren Ashley Daigle was born on 9th September 1991. Daigle grew up in Lafayette, Louisiana. At the age of 15 she contracted the immune deficiency disease cytomegalovirus. Lauren told JesusFreakHideout.com, "It was in that season that God started to show me his character. He started teaching me who he was and started showing me the plans that he had for me. He would give me dreams of tour buses and I would say, 'God, what is that? Why do you keep showing me all this?' And he was just laying out the blueprints for what I was going to be doing. He called me out of school, and I really think he used that season to just show me what was in store to get my heart prepared and to get my focus set on him. That season of solitude - of learning who God was and what he wanted me to do to serve in his Kingdom - was the most important milestone."
Daigle started singing in her church choir and continued to lead the choir while studying Child and Family Studies at Louisiana State University. She tried out for American Idol in 2010 and 2012 after her father encouraged her to compete in the singing competition. She was cut just before the final 24 contestants in 2010, didn't make Hollywood in 2011, made it through the Hollywood round in 2012, but was cut in the first Las Vegas round in 2012.
Lauren was asked to sing background vocals on an EP for a local band called The Assemblie. The self-titled project briefly hit number one on iTunes and Christian label Centricity Music, having heard the EP, asked Lauren to attend a workshop. When the singer for the main event at the workshop became ill, Lauren was asked to fill in. This led to her singing on the Jason Gray single "Nothing Is Wasted". Centricity Music signed her to the label in 2013.
Now Lauren's 'How Can It Be' album has been released. Amongst the outstanding tracks is a cover of David Crowder's "Here's My Heart". Lauren explained her decision to record the song. "I went to Passion and I saw the reaction of the people that sang that song and the crowd just came alive. To see that sort of response. To see that people were fired up about giving their heart over to God and recognizing his strength in our weakness, his power to overcome when we're feeling defeated, his pureness. To see all that being an anthem for so many people was completely invigorating. And it's a prayer. It's a prayer for me and it's a prayer for so many. So I connected with it through that experience."
Another standout is the song "My Revival". She explained, "This past December I was diagnosed with Lyme disease and some autoimmune stuff like lupus. That was one of the most difficult seasons of my life. It was so painful. Every day was just really hard to wake up because your body is in such chronic fatigue. We wrote 'My Revival' basically saying, 'Even in the depths of difficulty - whether it's loss, grief, pain, sickness or anything like that - the Word in Isaiah 40:28-31 says, 'We will run and not grow weary. We will walk and not grow faint. We will soar on wings like eagles.' That passage just really meant something. Even when I'm weak, God is the one that prevails. He is the one that overcomes. We don't even need to look at our circumstance. We don't need to stay bogged down with what's happening in our bodies because he is so powerful. He is so faithful. And it's his strength that allows us to overcome and soar on wings like eagles. That's where that came from. I can honestly say that he taught me a depth of healing that I didn't know existed, where you literally break agreements with those symptoms. And now I'm completely healed. I have no sickness at all."The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.