b. California, USA. The wife of a Christian minister, gospel singer Nancy Grandquist spent much of her earlier life in church, where her dynamic vocals proved popular in a myriad of choirs. Influenced primarily by Mahalia Jackson and the black gospel singers, she took her first piano lessons at the age of four. As a teenager she enrolled at the Christian Life Center in Stockton, California, USA, where bible classes were a prominent component of academic life. There she met her minister husband Richard, and began to look for a recording contract. NewPax Records signed her, resulting in the release of her Somebody Special debut set in the 70s. Although this received considerable acclaim within the gospel community, it failed to promote Grandquist as a major artist.