Grange Fair preview: Musician Francesca Battistelli

Francesca Battistelli
Francesca Battistelli Photo provided

Francesca Battistelli began as most artists do — with a passion for the arts. However, she has graduated to the level of success most artists never get the chance to see.

Battistelli loved theater, dance and music from a young age, and by the time she was 15, she had already begun writing and performing original songs. Her inspirations include modern musicians such as John Mayer and Sara Bareilles and legendary jazz artists, but Battistelli also infuses her own unique pop sound.

“My Paper Heart,” Battistelli’s debut album, won a Grammy nomination for Best Gospel Song Performance, became a Recording Industry Association of America Certified Gold-selling album and produced an RIAA Certified Gold-selling digital single, “Free to Be Me.”

Battistelli is no stranger to the limelight; she has received 22 Dove Award nominations, with six Dove Award wins including Artist of the Year. Her music has been featured on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” TLC’s “Jon & Kate Plus 8,” ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” and several other television and movie outlets.

In addition to these music-related awards, she was featured on 3 million Diet Pepsi cans in 2013 when Pepsi Mid-America unveiled an artist can series.

But her work means more than awards. Battistelli’s music serves as a personal journal of her life.

“I definitely think the albums I’ve made have documented my journey from being a young woman to becoming a young mom,” Batistelli said. “[On My Paper Heart] I had just graduated college and moved to Nashville. ... I think you can hear my searching on that album. There are a lot of songs about trust and trying to figure out what God was going to do in my life.”

This meaning behind her lyrics combined with her tremendous accolades assure that Battistelli will be a crowd pleaser.