The music industry had given us three types of artists.

1. Names we recognize. These are musicians who continually churn out hits, many even lasting for decades.

  • Elvis
  • Faith Hill
  • Mozart (I thought this list could use some culture)

2. Names we don’t recognize. These people were “one-hit wonders.” They achieve momentary success with one song, but never got noticed. Can you name the song these artists did?shockinblue

  • Shocking Blue
  • Toni Basil
  • Bobby Day
  • Baha Men

I didn’t think so.

  • Shocking Blue: Venus (1969)
  • Toni Basil: Mickey (1981)
  • Bobby Day: Rockin’ Robin (1958)
  • Baha Men: Who Let the Dogs Out? (2000)

3. Names we’ll never hear. Living in the Nashville area, I’ve discovered there is a lot of talent in this town. Our neighborhoods are full of musicians who never meet the right person and never get that “lucky break.” And the majority of those who do get a break, get signed, and cut a record never get airplay. Those who buy their songs are limited to their moms and a few friends.

ArethaAretha Franklin was in this last group.

Before Aretha was the Queen of Soul, she was an artist on Columbia Records. Sure, it was a huge label, but in the early 60s, they were trying to define her as a mix between Johnny Mathis and Doris Day. Very mainstream. The “next big thing in music our grandparents would like” never happened, and no one ever heard of Aretha Franklin.

When her contract with Columbia ended, she signed with Atlantic Records. They didn’t try to define Aretha; they just let her do her thing. On this week in history, January 24, 1967, Aretha returned to her roots—returned to who she is—in a recording session in Muscle Shoals Sound Studios in Sheffield, Alabama. On that day, they recorded the real Aretha.

I trust my point is obvious. Don’t let others redefine you. God gave you your interests, personality, and temperament.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Ps. 139:13).

Your uniqueness—your quirkiness—is not to be  defined by others, but it is to be refined by Christ.  He desires to mold you more and more into the likeness of Christ.

Be the you God created you to be, and let every aspect of your character and personality be a reflection of your love for Him.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matt. 22:37).

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