Songwriter's 'Reverse Crossover' Glorifies God, Benefits the Kingdom
by Allie Martin and Jody Brown
(AgapePress) - A veteran Christian songwriter and performer says music can be used as a tool to draw people closer to the Lord.
In the 1970s, Lenny LeBlanc was a successful pop songwriter and performer as half of the popular duo LeBlanc & Carr. His vocal and instrumental talents were heard on recordings of stars such as Roy Orbison, The Supremes, Hank Williams, Jr., Crystal Gayle, and Joan Baez.
By his own admission, LeBlanc's career became his god, and he even considered leaving his family behind. But after being introduced to Jesus by a good friend who had been a drug smuggler, the performer realized his life was shallow and selfish, and that he needed Jesus' mercy and forgiveness. In 1981, LeBlanc gave his life to Christ.
Two years later, completing the "reverse crossover," he released his first Christian album, and he has been a fixture in contemporary Christian music ever since. LeBlanc says he has had one main goal during his 19-year Christian music career.
"My hope is that when I write songs, I want to write songs that will draw people to Christ," LeBlanc says. "I know if I can accomplish that or in some way facilitate that through a song, then I've done my job, and God does the rest; the songs are only a tool. So that's my prayer, that somehow they would be drawn [to God] and experience His presence."
The award-winning songwriter, who penned the praise classic "There is None Like You," has some advice for those who feel called to a career in contemporary Christian music, and he cautions young performers who may have the wrong motives for entering the field.
"If your goal is to get into the Christian music business, that's the wrong goal and a wrong motive," he says. "It's hard to face those things and admit that you have those motives because we all do at certain points in our lives."
"[But] I think if your motive becomes to have the Lord use your music to touch other people, then that's the right motive. But the other motive really tends to cloud the issue, and it gets us off track."
LeBlanc, who lives in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, with his wife and daughter, was honored at last year's Gospel Music Association Dove Awards. The song "Above All," which he co-wrote with Paul Baloche and which was recorded by Michael W. Smith, was awarded Inspirational Recorded Song of the Year.
LeBlanc has just released a new worship CD entitled One Desire.