Contemporary Christian singer/songwriter Nichole Nordeman grew up in Colorado and was working as a waitress in Los Angeles when she entered a contest sponsored by the Gospel Music Association's Academy of Gospel Music Arts. She won with her song "Why," in which the crucifixion is viewed by a child. This led to the release of her first album, Wide Eyed, which produced four hits on the Christian adult contemporary charts ("To Know You," "Who You Are," "I Wish the Same," and the title song) and brought her Dove nominations for Best New Artist in 1999 and Best Female Vocalist in 2000. Nordeman followed with her second album, This Mystery, in May 2000, which drew similar raves. The Dove Award-winning Woven & Spun offered up an expertly crafted blend of worship and pop songs in 2002, as did 2005's Brave, the latter of which was also recognized by the Gospel Music Association. Nordeman's first greatest-hits collection, Recollection: The Best of Nichole Nordeman, arrived in 2007 and included two new songs, but it would be nearly eight years before she would issue another studio album. During that time Nordeman focused on her family, but never stopped creating, whether she was co-writing songs or contributing her own material to projects like the Veggie Tales movie (2010).
In 2015 Nordeman released the long-awaited The Unmaking, a six-track EP that became her third consecutive appearance on the Billboard 200. Her fifth full-length, Every Mile Mattered, followed in 2017 and not only landed on the Billboard 200 but was her first Christian number one album. ~ William Ruhlmann