Thursday, February 16, 2006

Where in the World Is Jennifer Knapp?

Today I picked up the brand new "Jennifer Knapp" Live CD. She has created some of my all-time favorite music in the Christian genre. With her gritty sound and hard hitting, scripture driven lyrics, she made quite a splash in the Christian music scene when she first emerged 6 or 7 years ago, and had a part of changing the face of "Christian music" as we knew it at the time. Her music was powerful, her fans were many, she influenced countless future musicians, and she acheived a good measure of success in the music business.

Two or three years ago, though, something happened. Very suddenly, she disappeared from the scene. She hadn't even toured to support her third album (as I can recall, at least). At first I assumed she was on some sort of hiatus...but here it is, years later, and barely a word (let alone a note) has been uttered from her publically.

What's even more odd is that no one seems to want to admit it. Her record company has released two albums over the last year and a half: one greatest hits CD, (featuring no new music, save a few previously un-released demos) and now the live CD, comprised of recordings that her band leader, at that time an aspiring producer, happened to record at various show dates in 2001. The only word from JKnapp herself is a brief, dateless note included in the CD jacket of the greatest hits CD. The new Live CD has nothing. All of the notes in it (including the thank you's) were written solely by her band leader, with an cryptic, past-tense tone, as if she was a thing of the past.

What gets me is that the companies advertising these projects say things like "Finally, a long awaited release from Jennifer Knapp"! and "Jennifer Knapp is back with more music!", nevermind the fact that all of the recordings contained on those CDs are 3+ years old, and not a peep is to be heard from her. It's as if the companies think the general public is stupid or something...there is a proverbial giant elephant in the middle of the room, and everyone is ignoring it!

What gets me even more is that you try to google "Where is Jennifer Knapp", and you generally find one of two things: sites with people perpetuating extreme, baseless rumors about her whereabouts and lifestyle, or sites with people seemingly condemning anyone who even wonders where she is, accusing them of putting her on a pedestal, and exhorting them to mind their own business and stop the hate.

Now...I have no interest in starting rumors about her lifestyle, and I understand the value of not speculating. I get it. However...call me crazy, but I'm not seeing anything wrong with wondering where she is, and feeling rather short-changed that no one will say or even admit that she's off the scene. Actually, it kind of ticks me off. It seems so fake, like "let's just cover up the problem and pretend it's not here". I know I don't idolize her, and I really don't think I'm putting her on a pedestal...but she was one of my favorite artists, who's music I always looked forward to hearing. Is it wrong for me to wonder where she's at? I guess a big part of me believes that while people shouldn't put artists on pedestals, by being an artist you are PUTTING yourself on a pedestal, in a way. You are setting yourself up to be a role model.

Anyway, I don't really know what my point is. I'm just ranting and raising a question. It does seem like a tricky situation...after all, what are those in the industry who are close to her supposed to do or say? Anyway, I'm wondering what anyone else's thoughts are on this situation. What would be the right way to handle it?

(p.s. The Live CD is really good. Some of the cuts from her 2nd & especially 3rd CD are better than what ended up on the actual CDs themselves)

35 Comments:

At 8:37 AM, Blogger Ben J said...

The big corporate cover up... Not saying she fell off the deep end or went nuts, but obviously her label execs have something that they don't want the public to know (and by the release of her last two albums) it seems as if it's more of a ploy to get all of the money they can out of her with left over studio and live stuff.

I'm sure the contract she was in left the record company in ownership of the recordings so they wanted to use those up before "the truth gets out" or something.

Plus people do have a right to wonder, because if nothing was wrong or different and she was just taking a break, she could just say that, or even her label could say that.

something stinks in this situation, and it kind of stinks like some corporate BS.

 
At 7:49 PM, Blogger Witness said...

Hey nikki- Don't know if you were reffering to this, but my sister was telling me that she is a lesbian now. There was an article I think in the paper about it. I can't believe it, but I guess that's the word on the street. I remember seeing you at that jennifer knapp concert at colonial church. remember??

 
At 10:59 AM, Blogger david said...

Hey Nikki-

I ran into your blog through Jeremy's. Thought I'd say hello. How are things going?

And yes, Jennifer Knapp and Goatee had a bit of a falling out. I never could figure out exactly what happened, but suffice it to say they parted ways. The greatest hits and live albums (and I think one more forthcoming) were released to fulfill her contract. Jennifer Knapp ended up writing an article in CCM magazine renouncing the rumors that had been circulating about her, and inferring that she didn't care to sign to another CCM label ever again.

Sarah Kelly was brought on to fill the niche hole at Gotee. While her last album left some to be desired in songwriting and much to be desired in production value, from what I've heard of her new one, it'll knock your socks off. And Sarah's live show is 1000 times better.

But unfortunately it seems we've lost a great artist is Miss Knapp.

 
At 2:13 PM, Blogger Nikki said...

Hey Dave! Thanks for the info. I missed that CCM article...do you know where one could find it?

I have Sarah Kelly's first CD...I can only take so much of her voice, though! I do have a sample CD of her upcoming album; I should give it a listen..

 
At 8:08 PM, Blogger matthew said...

Hey everyone, just wanted to let you know that if you go on Wikipedia she did actually do an interview saying she was taking a break before she parted ways with Goatee. She actually explains her reasoning and I actually admire her for her reasoning! Just letting you all know so you can check it out!

 
At 7:33 AM, Blogger tim parker said...

Jennifer Knapp is my favorite artist of all time. I listen mostly to her music and Oscar Peterson.

The depth of her lyrics, the freedom of her vocals and her interpretation, along with her skill level, have overwhelmed me. I
love the songs and the arrangements.

The Holy Spirit has ministered to me many times through the depth of transparancy that she touches.

I have been told the rumors too. I pray that she understands how this christian walk works. It is easy to understand the warfare she has probably been through, as we all experience in varying degrees in our physical body and from Satan, as Christians.

I am confident by her using her gifting, she has worshipped and ministered to many, and I am one of them. This certainly has made her a target from Satan. Of course even Jesus had to deal with him, answering him with the Word of God.

" There is no temptation that is uncommon to man, but with the temptation God makes a way of escape so we can bear up under it." It is not easy, but the alternative is bad, as with what happened to Israel in the desert - 1 Corinthians 10. There is a process for us to cooperate with. Jesus said, " To the person who has more will be given, and to the person who has not even what they have will be taken away." Thus we see the importance of obedience, even though it contains suffering keeping our flesh crucified. " He has forever perfected those who are being sanctified."

There can be a lack of clarity in understanding. That is to say that now that I am a Christian, I should have victory over sin and feel that way. In His presence - Yes, and Jesus said " It is finished." - YES - But the warfare continues in our bodies and from the enemy. We are running a race in faith, though the victory is won.

I pray she is OK, and if not that she gets ok.

I'm so thankful that she has used the gifts God gave her.

 
At 7:41 AM, Blogger tim parker said...

Hey, I just read the wikipedia. That certainly seems to make things clear. JK is thankful for what God has done, and is away for now, and will be back if she believes it is God's plan

Bless her!

 
At 9:58 PM, Blogger Forex 87 said...

i am working on posting more of her wishing well songs.
www.ext2000.com/christianmusic

 
At 9:59 PM, Blogger Forex 87 said...

i am working on posting more of her wishing well songs
www.ext2000.com/christianmusic

 
At 5:40 AM, Blogger TJ Turner said...

OK, I honestly don't know what's clear about her Wikipedia comment that "she's away for now and will be back if it's God's plan."

She was early in a potentially long and prosperous career. It makes absolutely no sense for her to drop out like she did, either from a business mindset or an artistic one. What she said was very vague. If there was some simple explanation of why she left she could have just said it.

This, to me, is compounded by the fact that it's been 4 years now and her fans are still calling for her return. If she were just on a break, or even if she had decided she didn't want to come back there's no reason she couldn't just make a public statement to that effect for her fans if for no other reason.

Though it's only speculation, it seems much more likely that there are more serious personal reasons she left.

The thing that boggles my mind is that absolutely nobody seems to really know. It just seems like somebody out there has to actually know her and be willing to end all the speculation by saying "I know Jennifer and whatever."

 
At 6:18 PM, Blogger tim parker said...

n

 
At 6:19 PM, Blogger tim parker said...

HI

 
At 5:40 PM, Blogger Emily said...

I read the excerpt from the magazine interview on Wikipedia as well. Did anyone else notice that Wikipedia listed two songs that were previously unreleased and indicated that they would be included on the new, updated version of Kansas? The song titles listed were "Cavolicious" and 'Boulder City is Beautiful". Yet when I go to iTunes and look at the new "Kansas Gold", those two songs are nowhere to be found. Has this already been addressed by someone else and perhaps I missed it?

 
At 5:46 PM, Blogger Emily said...

And just for the record, I listened to some Sarah Kelly stuff on iTunes... No comparison. She's got a pretty good voice but she's no Jennifer Knapp and that's a fact.

 
At 8:35 PM, Blogger Efil ov Nogard said...

People, really! Jennifer owes nothing to anyone. Sure, she is practically one of the best Christian artist to hit the scene but all this speculation goes well beyond what is true.
There's nothing hush-hush; some people are just faithful in not speaking when it comes to respecting another person's privacy. Grow up! Spiritually too!
As to the lesbian part I figure you owe an apology to everyone! I heard...she said...they say. In other words a false witness.
Prayer to GOD is what people should be doing. Lifting her up instead of gossip.

 
At 8:36 PM, Blogger Efil ov Nogard said...

People, really! Jennifer owes nothing to anyone. Sure, she is practically one of the best Christian artist to hit the scene but all this speculation goes well beyond what is true.
There's nothing hush-hush; some people are just faithful in not speaking when it comes to respecting another person's privacy. Grow up! Spiritually too!
As to the lesbian part I figure you owe an apology to everyone! I heard...she said...they say. In other words a false witness.
Prayer to GOD is what people should be doing. Lifting her up instead of gossip.

 
At 4:59 PM, Blogger Audrey said...

great post! i have been wondering for awhile now!

 
At 9:21 PM, Blogger kings1 said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jennifer_Knapp
tells you what you prety much need to know and prety much what I had suspected when I heard she hasent been heard from in a while.. Praise be 2 Our GOD and KING JESUS...
Take your time Jenn.. Trust and obey serve HIM HIS WAY

 
At 6:04 AM, Blogger Eric H. said...

Jennifer has always been my tower and inspiration, Ive balled my eyes out to her songs through all my teenage years, living.. struggling.. through it all, God was there for me.. Jennifers music was a ministry to me... I've always live my life "A little more" and "Undo Me" --- I Love Jennifer, she will NEVER know how much her voice has Kept me, listening to her music for the first time.. contemplating life or death as a teenager, she Got me through.. she doesnt even know..

 
At 7:21 AM, Blogger David Gifford said...

I think unwittingly she's becoming a bigger and bigger "star" because there is no definite word on her. Great music is so hard to come by, she had it and now she's gone, and no one knows where she went. It sounds like a movie plot to me! Her legend continues to grow, and I imagine it will continue like that until something definite comes out from her. We all wish her the best in her now-private life and kinda hope someday to discover something to alleviate our curiousity, because that's all it is. BURNING curiousity.

 
At 9:41 PM, Blogger Veil said...

Greetings,
WOW!!! I may come off as a bit unpopular. However, I have a bit if a low tolerence for arrogant artists. I got to meet Jennifer Knapp on what I can remember 3 instances. 2 of which I photographed. I remember the first one more then the others. Probably because her behavior followed the same pattern.

I don't deny that her music, and her talent is extraordiary. I just don't agree with the way she treated.... Well... Her fans at the time. She was just coming on the scene. It was at a Church in Shawnee, Kansas (Sorry, I don't remember the name right now.) I was asked by a youth minister friend of mine to photograph a special occasion that featured Miss Knapp. I did, however, she was extremely rude to me, and her other fans, and guests. Mostly complaining that I took WAY too many pictures of her, and acting as if I was an obsessed fan. When, I hardly knew who she was.

I was VERY Turned off by her behavior, and needless to say. I didn't look forward to seeing her perform in a setting like that again.

Unfortunatly, I would run into her again under the same circumstances. I was trying my best to avoid picture taking of her. However, if I recall. This time a friend had acctually paid me to photograph this occasion. And, wanted them to be as good as I could get them. Well, she was REALLY not happy about this. And, asked me not to photograph her at all.

I haven't even wanted to hear her music because of this. If this is the love of God. I hate to see her turn to Satanism.

 
At 11:13 PM, Blogger Marci said...

Wow. What a great and mighty Christian you are. I'd hate to see YOU turn to satanism given your staunch resistance to gossip and such. Go away.

 
At 8:03 PM, Blogger pooploop said...

It's been years since I've heard anything from Jennifer K. I just went online to see what ever happened and if there was any new releases. Her music got me through some horrific times (loss) in my own life. I was shocked at everything I've read. Really made me sick. Some comments were great, some not so great. Either way it was abviously more than she could handle at that point in her life. No one knows what's going on in her heart and mind...but God. It's ok that she walked away! She owe's none of us anything. Maybe if we walked a mile in her shoes...we'd leave her alone. She may have been rude...but honestly if your a private person who's struggling emotionally/spiritually being hounded by people...we do make mistakes and maybe act in ways we shouldn't. Thank you Jesus...for your love & patience. In the end...the only one she answers to is Him. The one that loved her the most.

 
At 8:17 PM, Blogger pooploop said...

obviously I can't spell...lol

 
At 8:28 PM, Blogger Cornelia Seigneur - WriterMom Ink said...

I love Jennifer Knapp's music !! - so honest and lyrical and folksy and real- I admire her for not just putting out music for a profit- but waiting...God has used her in many people's lives -
In fact, I am listening to her right now - I love Trinity especially!

Cornelia Seigneur
West Linn Oregon

 
At 7:44 AM, Blogger Amy said...

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Jennifer Knapp's music. I listen to it frequently while I'm meditating. It has this amazing ability to bring you in to the presence of God. I haven't been able to find anything else like it...

But honestly, I can't blame her for leaving the Christian scene if people were giving her a hard time about maybe or maybe not being a lesbian. It frustrates me that this is even an issue! God doesn't care if she is a lesbian. In fact, God loves her just as she is, and is proud of her for being her true self. As am I... Thank you so much for the music you have given us Jennifer... and know what a blessing you are in so many people's lives, and that you have many many fans that love you just as you are (no matter what that may or may not be).

 
At 4:25 AM, Blogger Sam said...

i love jennifer knapp's music, too. well, i'm only familiar with kansas and i bought the way i am much much later (love breathe on me). i've googled her before to find out how she's doing, and i did it again today just in case there's any news.

hmm, knapp does have the right to be completely silent about how she is doing right now. but it's really killing me that i don't know how she is doing right now. i don't mind if she stops releasing albums forever, but i hope she doesn't leave her fans hanging. like, if she left for personal reasons, then just say so.

 
At 8:11 AM, Blogger Geeyosh Josh said...

I love Jennifer's work, but if I had her talent and reached her level of popularity, but I tell you that with my personality, I wouldn't want to feel obligated to keep pumping music out and performing just because people want to hear it. She's a person, she's an individual, she doesn't belong to us. If she wants to take off and never sing another note or write another song, that's her business; God bless her. She's a sensitive person like I am, that's how she writes and performs the way she does, I can see where those explanations come from, I wouldn't want to force things either.

 
At 8:31 AM, Blogger Caryl Lawson said...

I met Jennifer once at a concert in Montgomery, AL. I was an aspiring artist and singer myself and had the opportunity to meet her backstage. I told her about my dream of becoming a christian singer and she basically told me "It's not as wonderful or easy as it may seem. It's hard work. Harder than you think." I think it's a shame that she apparently got burned out but whatever it is she is going through in her life or her walk...i think we as fans owe it to her to let her work it out in her own way - let's give her what we all take for granted - the privacy to work through whatever struggles she is facing without having them editorialized by the media every day. Maybe one day, she will re-emerge and we will all be blessed once again by her talent and giftings, possibly along with a powerful testimony of what she's been through. If we are truly fans and respected her message before she vanished from the scene, maybe we can simply find it in our hearts to pray for her rather than judge while completely ignorant of her personal situation. Whether she returns to the public arena or not, I am grateful for how her music impacted me at a very important time in my life. she was influential and I am grateful for the messages she sang about that brought me through some tough times. If she never records another song, it will never take away from the impact she made in the past.

 
At 6:57 PM, Blogger Mattshouse said...

Great News jennifer Knapp is just fine and recording again. check out this from wikipedia


"On August 28, 2009, Patrol Magazine reported that Knapp's management confirmed she is "starting to write and record again."[6]

i know wikipedia is nt 100% always reliable but ths is huge

 
At 5:14 AM, Blogger Sandy said...

Where are you Jennifer Knapp? Seriously, if you are waiting for a reason to come back I have one. I'm from Kansas and we have produced our share of great singers. My son is in the Army serving in Afghanistan and what he requested for his birthday on Sept 3o th (9-30-1983) was the 10th anniversary released album "Kansas". I ordered it from Amazon and sent it to him. That was his birthday wish. Come back the troops need to hear your sweet clear spiritual voice to help them through this messy war. My son has your music on his FB page and I'm loving listening to you too. I was just diagnosed with terminal bone cancer from breast cancer and the Holy Spirit song, Martyrs and Thieves is getting me through each day. Hope those are reasons enough to come back and help people. Sandy from Kansas

 
At 5:59 AM, Blogger Marci said...

She's back. Check out Jenniferknapp.com. God bless!

 
At 8:51 PM, Blogger J said...

People here amaze me. Slander and gossip not to mention a waste of time when you could be praying for support. She doesn't owe you anything and GOD doesn't need her for people to be saved.

 
At 11:09 PM, Blogger Mattshouse said...

i agree, there is no reason to have gossip or slander a person for no reason . but she is back, so no reason to keep it up. just be thankful she is back.

 
At 4:01 AM, Blogger Sherri Vada said...

Hmmm hindsight is 20/20 reasons and causes for concerns. I appreciated Sandy's begging of JK to come back and how we need her. I hope she read these and yes even the ones that appeared to be somewhat gossipy. SHe went away and now we know why! She slipped back and had many years surrounded by others influences that have driven her far from truth. God help her as she has helped so countless many in her worship, her yearnings for you in the depths of her pain revealed thru her music to You Lord. I know she was a born again former alcoholic, athest! WIth less than 7 yrs under her belt before hitting the public mainstream. How was she mentored? How was her growth during that time? WHat was her inner struggles even when she was at her best? We don't know. I love you JK and I know that the Lord doesn't NEED you to help save anyone but one thing I do is that He sure does WANT you. As Ted said, "let her go thru this process".....Burn Holy Spirit burn. "Undo me".

 

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