Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Leave a 75th Birthday Greeting to Honor Dr. Michael Youssef for His Ministry!

22 Things You Probably Didn't Know About: Jaci Velasquez

  • Michael Nolan CCM Magazine
  • 2005 3 Jan
22 Things You Probably Didn't Know About:  Jaci Velasquez

Since turning heads at age 15 with her Myrrh debut, "A Heavenly Place," Jaci Velasquez has made her mark in Christian and Latin music. Along the way, she’s become a radio favorite, had her name mispronounced by many famous people who were just getting to know what a singing sensation Jaci is and also launched an acting career.

Up next is an early spring release for a new album called "Beauty Has Grace" (Word). Until then, here’s the stuff that probably won’t make the liner notes.

22. Hair-raising
If you compare Jaci’s hairstyle today with a few years ago, you’ll see a stark contrast. Was that haircut a nail-biter? “Yes, it was very unsettling!” confirms Jaci. “I kept looking over at my mom for confirmation.”

21. Simple is Best.
You don’t have to fire up some bananas foster or serve a five-layer chocolate cake when you have Jaci over for dinner. Her favorite dessert is berries and cream.

20. Presto unpack-o
OK, so they’re not exactly magic words; but Jaci would love to find a better way to accomplish one of her least favorite tasks — unpacking her suitcase. And, as you can imagine, that’s something she does a lot.

19. Dog tricks
Jaci and husband Darren have three dogs. Their newest arrival is a Great Dane named William who likes to lead Louie (the Yorkie) around by holding the leash in his mouth. “It makes me laugh every time,” confesses Jaci. Dallas (the Maltese) had no comment for this story.

18. We thought he’d be a good guy.
Jaci has sung on “The Wayne Brady Show,” starring the former “Who’s Line Is It Anyway?” cut-up. What’s he like? “He is such a nice person. He made me feel very welcomed. I had met him before on ‘Hollywood Squares,’ and he was equally nice.”

17. Emotional homecoming
In March 2003, Jaci sang at Fort Campbell, Ky., during a ceremony to welcome home troops from Iraq. Understandably, it was an extremely emotional experience. “To look at those people I was singing for and know that some of them might not return and then to look over at the section where the widows were sitting… it was heartbreaking, to say the least.”

16. Voice of experience
A budding music mogul with her own label, A’postrophe, she advises new artists “to get used to working hard and not to forget that we are all really servants (That’s real easy to forget sometimes.). But if they can keep a servant’s heart, it will make their work more fulfilling.”

15. Coming soon
Jaci’s next album, recorded primarily in London, finds her traveling some new musical roads. “It is more edgy and a little more ‘rocky.’ So far everyone I have played it for seems to like it!”

14. Hope they had a big tent.
To celebrate their first anniversary, Jaci and Darren went camping in Monteagle, a glorious getaway in higher altitudes between Nashville and Chattanooga, Tennessee. William (the Great Dane) accompanied them.

13. Marriage counseling
Having passed that first-year milestone, what wisdom would she pass along to couples just starting their lives together? “Be patient and considerate with one another. It takes time to adjust to having someone in your life every day for the rest of your life. Have fun and talk, talk, talk.”

12. “This is a stove. This is a …”
As you might expect, Jaci’s spent more time with backstage caterers than in her own kitchen. Now, however, she’s trying to become a bit of a Betty Crocker. “Having a mom who is known for being an amazing cook is great because I get all kinds of tips from her. I’m actually enjoying learning to cook.”

11. And you thought getting through airports was tough…
Unlike most of us, Jaci’s been invited to the White House. What’s that experience like? “Security like no other. Very organized. Everyone is very professional and very kind.”

10. Non-cabinet meeting
When Jaci met President George W. Bush, she didn’t discuss international diplomacy, the economy or even music. “We talked about the Houston Rockets,” she recalls, although she confesses to be an uncommitted fan of football and hockey as well as baseball.

9. Heard but not seen
Jaci lent her voice to "Los Tres Reyes Magos," an all-Spanish animated movie retelling the story of the Three Wise Men.

8. Heard but not seen, the sequel
She’s also a vocal contributor to “The Word Becomes Flesh,” the first-ever audio New Testament read entirely by women. She’s in the good company of such ladies as Amy Grant, Natalie Grant, Darlene Zschech, Babbie Mason and Gloria Gaither.

7. Looking ahead
In her personal life, her goal is to have children some day. And in her work? “God has really blessed me with so much already.”

6. Help-mates
Jaci and Darren share responsibilities around the house, but Jaci does most of the grocery shopping. And speaking of shopping…

5. Shop talk
“Sometimes I like to shop with a friend or my mom,” Jaci reports. “When I need to do some serious shopping, I like to sometimes go alone so that I can concentrate.”

4. Something old is something new.
These days Jaci is inclined toward vintage clothes, although we haven’t spotted her shopping at Goodwill or any Salvation Army thrift stores.

3. Age is just in the mind.
Jaci reports liking “all the old movies. Like really, really old.” Examples? She mentioned "Heidi," starring Shirley Temple (1937), as well as "Pretty in Pink" (1986). We doubt that Molly Ringwald or Anthony Michael Hall would like to be included in the “really, really old” category.

2. Needle drops
Jaci reports, “I like to work in my garden, play with my dogs, and right now I am trying to learn how to knit.”

1. Lessons learned
She affirms “that no matter what we go through — good or bad, “We need our family, and we especially need God. I learned that I need to slow down a bit; it’s OK if I’m not working 24-7. God will still love me.”

© 2004 CCM Magazine.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission.  Click here to subscribe.