Chances are you already know {{Jaci Velasquez}} released her first album, ==A Heavenly Place==, when she was only sixteen years old-and proceeded to win the Best New Artist Dove Award soon after. And chances are you know her highly acclaimed, self-titled sophomore CD earned her a Dove Award for Female Vocalist of the Year-making her the youngest artist ever to win that award.


You probably even know that the now-nineteen-year-old Velasquez also has over a half-dozen songs that reached numero uno on the charts. And two gold albums (with more than 500,000 copies sold). And has published a book (also titled ==A Heavenly Place==). And has filmed several music videos. And performed for hundreds of thousands of adoring fans in the past few years..

But don't let all those accomplishments lull you into thinking that's all there is to know about this talented young artist. In fact, we're betting there are at least 12 things about Jaci V. that no one has bothered to tell you yet. So, read on, music fan, to discover those secrets heretofore untold. And remember you heard it first on the music channel at crosswalk.com

1. The Day Daddy Almost Died


{{Jaci Velasquez}} was on the top of the world. In just over a year, this rising young star had gone from near-anonymity to opening for Christian mega-group, {{Point of Grace}}, then landing a heavyweight agent in Mike Atkins and securing a recording contract with Myrrh Records.

Now, at only fifteen years of age, Jaci had been recording a debut album-and learning to drive. She sat behind the wheel of the family car with her dad on the passenger side, ready to give advice and assurance as his daughter tested her driving skills on the streets of Nashville.

At first, she did well, driving with confidence through the Music City. Then the unexpected happened. "I got into an accident," she admits. "I sideswiped a guyon my dad's side!"

Although the accident was minor, it yielded serious consequences. Jaci recalls, "My dad had a heart attack right there on the spot! And it was all my fault He started complaining about his chest hurting. Then when we got to the house he realized 'Oh, I'm having a heart attack.' So then my mom drove him to the emergency room."

For the next few weeks, the whole family prayed as Dad underwent open-heart surgery then lay in a hospital bed facing down death each day. "I felt guilty!" Jaci says, "but there wasn't really anything I could do. It was a trying time in my family's life because our father was laying possibly on his deathbed. It was not easy."

Thankfully the story doesn't end there. As the Thanksgiving holiday rolled around, the elder Velasquez turned a corner in his recovery. He was going to be all right. But for young Jaci an even deeper healing was taking place, one that she points to as an example of a person living life just like Christ.

"My dad forgave me," she says with relief.

Then she grins. "He doesn't sit up front though anymore!"


2. Alone Among Thousands of People


From her vantage point inside the tour bus, nineteen-year-old Jaci Velasquez can see things are happening outside. People are talking and laughing. A line is forming for her upcoming concert that night. Smiling couples are holding hands.

And inside the bus, sits a teen superstar who is lonely. Again.

Jaci V. sighs when reflecting on scenes like these. It's a price that accompanies fame, and Jaci finds herself paying it at the expense of her youth.

"In some ways, I did trade my youth for fame," she says candidly. "I don't know if it was the fame that I knew I was trading it for. I loved music and music is my passion and it always has been my passion. So I guess you could say I traded my youth for music and not for the fameI could live without the fame."

"It's lonely to have the fame behind you because you never know who your real friends are. You can't go out alone anymore. You have to someone with you and it's lonely. You can't just be out and go have a good time with people. I have to sit in the bus while everyone gets their sound check and I have to go out, do my sound check, come back to the bus and wait until the show time. That's lonely."

It's a scene the young woman repeats about 200 nights a year, and despite the rewards of a successful music career, that kind of schedule can get tiring-and it interferes with normal teenage relationships.

"I've only had one boyfriend," Jaci reveals. "[When] I was seventeen." But it soon became obvious to Jaci that boyfriends would have to wait, at least for now. She explains, "I'm always gone. We're never going to see each other. It won't work."

So why does {{Jaci Velasquez}} keep doing what she does so well in the Christian music industry? "I'm still passionate about the music," she says. "I don't care what I have to do as long as I can do musicI wouldn't trade it. I love what I do."


And The Last 10 Things You Didn't Know About Jaci Velasquez
3. Jaci's Full Name: "Jacquelyn Davette Velasquez"
4. Jaci's Hidden Talent: "Now I'm into photography."
5. Jaci's Secret Dream: "To be a fashion designer when I grow up!"
6. Jaci's Most Ticklish Spot:"In my neck!"
7. Jaci's Favorite Book: "The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein."
8. Jaci's Secret Weakness: "I have no rhythm! I have to look at the guys in the band to see what beat they're clapping on so I can know where to clap too!"
9. Jaci's Favorite Hymn: "Holy, Holy, Holy."
10. Jaci's Favorite Scripture: "It changes every day, but right now it's Romans 1:16-17
11. Jaci's Current Prayer: "For focus. Focus on the ministry and singing and not wishing, you know, that I was at home or things like that. Being able to focus on what God has in store for me."
12. Jaci's Final Request of Her Fans: "Keep me in your prayers!"






Jaci Velasquez
Llegar A Ti
Myrrh Records
$14.98
Congrats to Jaci who recently landed a number one radio hit on the Billboard Hot Latin Tracks chart with her song "Llegar A Ti" from her Spanish-language disc of the same name!