Gospel recordings were becoming all the rage in the nineties, particularly with female artists.
Sometimes it seemed like they just wanted a big showpiece for the CMA awards. Dolly Parton and Pam Tillis had performed with enormous choirs behind them in 1991 and 1994, respectively. These were, perhaps, the only times in CMA history that the demographics on stage accurately reflected greater metropolitan Nashville.
In 1996, Shania Twain debuted a revamped version of “God Bless the Child” on the show. Originally a short a cappella number that closed her breakthrough album, Twain added several verses that touched on a wide range of social problems that impact children.
Twain’s less than powerhouse vocals work in the performance’s favor. Her restraint keeps the song from becoming overblown. And in turn, what could have been mawkish remains reasonably thought-provoking and pleasant to the ears.
Written by Robert John “Mutt” Lange and Shania Twain
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