Born Sandi Patty, July 12, 1956, in Oklahoma City, OK; daughter of Ron Patty (a minister of music); married John Helvering (a recording agent); children: Anna, Jennifer, John, Erin. Education: Attended San Diego State University; Anderson College, B.A., 1979. Religion: Christian. Addresses: Agent-- John Helvering, The John Helvering Agency, P.O. Box 2940, Anderson, IN 46018.

Sandi Patti has been called "The Voice" of contemporary Christian music. Gifted with a tremendous vocal talent that lends itself to a wide range of expression, Patti has enjoyed a diverse musical career. From ballads to pop to distinctive renditions of traditional gospel music, Patti bridges the gap between the secular and Christian worlds and ministers to her wide audience in a unique way.

Born July 12, 1956, Patti made her singing debut at the tender age of two while singing "Jesus Loves Me" in church. Her vocal gift, apparent even then, increased dramatically over the years, and she soon performed regularly at small gospel churches around the country with her two younger brothers in the family singing group, the Ron Patty Family. As a young adult, she studied voice at San Diego State University before transferring to Anderson College in Indiana to major in music. While at Anderson, Patti earned money as a backup singer doing jingles for Juicy Fruit gum and met her future husband, John Helvering. It was Helvering who proved instrumental in encouraging Patti to perform and made arrangements for her to record a custom album entitled For My Friends. Her name was misspelled "Patti" on the album, and she has used that version of her name professionally since. After hearing the album, a recording executive offered her a contract in 1979. There was no stopping "The Voice" then. Sandi's Song, Patti's first contractual release, appeared in 1979 and was followed by a number of personal appearances which spread the word of her music ministry nationwide. In 1980, Patti and her husband put together a small tour, quickly realizing that music was becoming far more than a part-time occupation. When she was asked to sing backup for the Bill Gaither Trio, Patti became convinced that her future lay in the music field. Her 1982 album Lift Up the Lord, a tightly produced and distinctly contemporary-sounding Christian album, won two Dove awards and featured such outstanding songs as the lively title track and "How Majestic Is Your Name," balanced against such balladic powerhouses as "They Could Not." Her 1983 album Sandi Patti Live: More Than Wonderful, certified gold in 1985, garnered additional Dove awards and a Grammy for best gospel performance. Subsequent albums have been nominated for musical awards each year, and Patti was named Billboard 's Inspirational Artist of the Year for four years in a row.

Patti's first major solo tour occurred in 1984 with concerts in the one hundred largest cities in the United States. The tour corresponded with the release of the Songs From the Heart album and drew more than half a million fans, confirming once again her position as the leading figure in popular Christian music. Her 1986 album Morning Like This earned her another Grammy, as did her duet with Deniece Williams on the song "They Say." As a whole, Morning Like This offers a striking musical balance: the title track embraces the mystery and joyful declaration of Easter morning, while the single "Love in Any Language" reaches well beyond the varying sects in Christendom; hand-clapping, foot-stomping favorites such as "Hosanna" and "Let There Be Praise" complement the inspirational moments of songs like "In the Name of the Lord."

Striving to keep pace with changes in musical tastes while not disappointing fans who had begun to equate her with operatic high C's and ringing, emotional crescendos, Patti blazed new trails with her 1988 album, Make His Praise Glorious. Still present here are hallmark ballads such as "In Heaven's Eyes" and powerhouse hits like "No Other Name," but the popular "Love Will Be Our Home" contains rocklike guitar licks--something fans might not have expected. Other departures are evident in the catchy "Come Let Us Worship," which found favor with fans of electronic percussion, and "Someone Up There Loves Me," featuring heavy brass aimed at jazz buffs.

Patti's broad appeal as a performer is not hard to understand. Her tremendous vocal talent bridges the gap between her Christian audience and the secular world. ABC-TV included her inspirational recording of "The Star Spangled Banner" during its Liberty Weekend Celebration, and NBC-TV invited her to participate in the network's Christmas in Washington special with former U.S. president Ronald Reagan. She has also performed on numerous daily television programs, including The Tonight Show, The Today Show, and Good Morning America, on specials such as the Grammy Awards show and the CBS special We the People, at the 1988 Republican National Convention, and at the opening ceremonies of the 1988 presidential inauguration. In addition, after four years of planning, Patti released Sandi Patti and the Friendship Company in 1989, a children's album that is destined to become a classic.

Despite national exposure as a performer, Patti remains refreshingly sincere and unchanged. Her dedication remains with the Lord and to her husband and four children. The music, in all its excitement, remains a ministry. As she noted in People: "I don't tell people 'You have to believe this,' but rather, 'Hey, the things that Jesus taught and continues to teach flat out work, and this is where I've been and learned and maybe it fits where you're at right now.' Music is a powerful tool. We should use it to help shape positive values." Perhaps what makes Sandi Patti's work so accessible and successful is her sincerity. Husband John agrees. "She talks to the audience about hating piano lessons when she was little, about our courtship, about [our daughter] Anna being sick, as well as about the Lord's message," he explained in People. Most critics agree that Patti's ability to cross musical boundaries and spread the Christian word to a wide and varied audience will insure her longevity in the field.

by Meg Mac Donald

Sandi Patti's Career

Christian music singer and recording artist, 1979--. Has toured throughout the United States.

Sandi Patti's Awards

More than two dozen Dove awards for gospel artist, female vocalist, and inspirational album of the year, all from the Gospel Music Association, 1982-90; Grammy awards for best gospel performance, 1984, 1986, and 1987; named inspirational artist of the year by Billboard magazine, 1986-89.

Famous Works

Further Reading

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Visitor Comments Add a comment…

over 3 years ago

Hi...I heard many years ago that you left you husband and had an affair.( late 80's 90's) ( I was about 16-17 years old then) Your music was put on hold for awhile because of infeldility...Kinda what Jimmy Swaggart did, as in fell, then made a come -back....after all these years I still think of that and wonder if it was true.

over 4 years ago

Hi there! I've always been a fan of yours since i've heard and known your songs. I'm from the Philippines. I was really very excited when I read that you'll be having a concert in Manila. I've already planned everything, my trip in going to Manila just to see your concert. Our place is an hour away via airplane from Manila. I had to save money just to watch your concert. But sad to say it was cancelled. I'm looking forward to another scheduled concert here in Manila. I hope there would be one soon. Please, please, please make one come 2010. I'll always be waiting no matterwhat the cost. It is quite expensive though but for the glory of GOD i would make myself available. Thank you for reading my letter. TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!!. I LOVE YOU SANDI. Take Care always & God Be With You Always. Your fan forever SANGIE

about 5 years ago

This is so old. Sandi is no longer married to John, has 8 children, married to another man, and does those stupid women conferences. When will she perform like she used to to ALL of her auience, instead of a bunch of lesbians???

over 5 years ago

HI SANDI I'M SURE YOU DON'T REMEMBER ME BUT WHEN THE BILL GLASS CRUSADE WAS IN BRIDGETON NEW JERSEY (I DON'T REMEMBER THE DATES)BUT I SANG IN YOUR FATHERS CHOIR AND STOOD ON THE FRONT ROW BECAUSE I AM A LITTLE PERSON MY HUSBAND GAVE YOUR MOTHER FLOWERS DURING ONE SERVICE AND WE BOTH BECAME VERY FRIENDLY WITH YOU AND YOUR PARENTS I TRULY LOVE YOUR MUSIC AND HAVE SUNG SEVERAL OF THEM MYSELF. JUST WANT TO KNOW HOW YOUR FAMILY IS AND GIVE THEM OUR LOVE LOVE BOB AND LYNN BUTCHER

almost 6 years ago

Hello,sandi finally I come to know you more through your biography. Just to tell you that you have really blessed and touched me with your music since I was young. I really love to hear your songs. It uplifts my soul. You have inspired me to become an instrument in establishing God's Kingdom here on earth through singing. And I want you to know that I love to sing your songs especially Love will be our home and MOre than wonderful. Thanks again! God Bless You!AMY

over 6 years ago

Sandi, God has blessed you with a BEAUTIFUL voice! You are a incredible Godly woman & it shows in your life & through your music.I guess you can't imagine how many lives have been touched & changed because of your music & your heart for the Lord. I am one of them! I love to listen to your Cd's every chance I get (which is just about everyday). I have listened to your music for many years. It takes me away from this world & gets my focus on the Lord! Thank you so much! God Bless you in a special way! Rhonda Snyder

over 6 years ago

HI SANDI, THANK THE LORD FOR YOUR GIFT OF SONG, I HAVE ENJOYED YOUR SONGS SINCE I WAS A VERY YOUNG LADY, I AM IN MY 50'S NOW AND HAVE ALWAYS WOKE UP GIVING PRAISES TO GOD AND USING YOUR SONGS AS MY PRAISE AND PRAYER TIME. YOU ARE CERTAINLY A TRUE GOD'S WORSHIPER BECAUSE IT HAS TAKEN ME TO A PLACE IN GOD. YOUR SONGS HAS HELPED ME GET THROUGH SOME ROUGH TIMES. I HAVE RETIRED AND NOW I AM IN COLLEGE THIS MY JUNIOR YEAR. I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO SING BUT COULD NOT. THANK YOU SO MUCH. JACQUELYN

almost 7 years ago

I think this is a very nice write-up and background info for Sandi Patti.