Beth Nielsen Chapman (born September 14, 1958 in Harlingen, Texas) is an American singer and songwriter who has written hits for country and pop music performers.

Beth Nielsen Chapman
Beth Nielsen Chapman.jpg
Background information
Born (1958-09-14) September 14, 1958 (age 61)
Harlingen, Texas
Years active1976–present
  • BNC
  • Reprise
  • Compass

Early life and historyEdit

Beth Nielsen Chapman was born on September 14, 1958,[1] in Harlingen, Texas as the middle child of five to a Catholic family,[2] an American Air Force Major father and a nurse mother. While Chapman was growing up, her family moved several times and settled in Alabama in 1969.[3] While living in Germany at age 11, Chapman started playing guitar after her mother hid a Framus guitar as a Father's Day gift in her room.[3][4] She also learned to play the piano at the same time she started playing guitar.[5] As a child and teenager, she listened to a variety of music including Hoagy Carmichael, Tony Bennett, James Taylor and Carole King.[6]

In 1976, Chapman played with a rock and pop group called "Harmony" in Montgomery, Alabama, effectively replacing Tommy Shaw who had just left to join Styx.[4][7] She played acoustic guitar and piano as well as providing vocals for the group in a locally-popular bowling alley bar called Kegler's Kove and has returned to play in the area on an infrequent basis ever since.[8]

Career success as songwriterEdit

Chapman had several popular songs on the Adult Contemporary charts in the 1990s, such as "I Keep Coming Back to You", "Walk My Way", "The Moment You Were Mine" and "All I Have". In 1993, she sang a duet with Paul Carrack, "In the Time It Takes".

Co-songwriter of Faith Hill's hit song "This Kiss", Chapman has written songs performed by numerous artists: Trisha Yearwood ("Down On My Knees", "You Say You Will", "Trying to Love You"), Martina McBride ("Happy Girl"), Willie Nelson ("Nothing I Can Do About It Now", "Ain't Necessarily So", "If My World Didn't Have You"), Tanya Tucker ("Strong Enough to Bend"), Lorrie Morgan ("Five Minutes"), Mary Chapin Carpenter ("Almost Home"), Jim Brickman & Rebecca Lynn Howard ("Simple Things"), Alabama ("Here We Are"), Suzy Bogguss ("Save Yourself"), Claudia Church ("What's the Matter With You Baby"), Holly Dunn ("You Say You Will"), Crystal Gayle ("When Love is New"), Highway 101 ("All the Reasons Why", "Long Way Down"), Terri Clark ("Sometimes Goodbye"), Mindy McCready ("One in a Million"), Waylon Jennings ("Shine On Me", "Old Church Hymns and Nursery Rhymes"), Ilse DeLange ("World of Hurt"), Megan McKenna ("Far Cry from Love") and Bette Midler ("The Color of Roses"), co-written with Michael W. Smith (She Walks With Me on This Is Your Time), among others.

Several artists have performed with Beth on her albums: Bonnie Raitt on "Heads Up for the Wrecking Ball" and "Shake My Soul"; Vince Gill on "Deeper Still"; Amy Grant on "Thanks to Spring"; John Prine on "Every December Sky"; Michael McDonald on "Right Back Into the Feeling" and "Will and Liz"; Emmylou Harris and Kimmie Rhodes on "There's a Light"; Paul Carrack on "In the Time It Takes"; and her son Ernest Chapman III on "Your Love Stays".

Chapman performed at the 2nd Annual Women Rock Girls and Guitars Lifetime TV Special, she sang backing vocals with Emmylou Harris, performed with the ensemble on a cover version of Take It To The Limit, plus performed her own song, "There's a Light" with Emmylou Harris, Pat Benatar, Sheryl Crow and Shea Seger singing back-up.

Some of Chapman's songwriting collaborators have been Annie Roboff,[9] Bill Lloyd, Eric Kaz,[10] Harlan Howard,[11] Joe Henry.[12] and Judie Tzuke.

Charting singlesEdit

In her native country, Chapman has never made the Hot 100 chart as a recording artist, although she charted eight singles on the Billboard Top Adult Contemporary Singles chart. She is tied for first place (with Marilyn Maye) as the artist with the most charted Adult Contemporary hits without ever reaching the Billboard Hot 100, according to the Billboard Top Adult Contemporary Hits book.

Chapman also charted one song on the Billboard Bubbling Under The Hot 100 Chart. "Sand and Water" reached Number 2 on the Bubbling Under chart, a position often listed as No. 102 on the Hot 100 in various Billboard singles books.

She is a significantly more successful chart artist in Canada, where she scored three Top 40 hits on the national RPM chart in the early 1990s. Her biggest Canadian hit was "The Moment You Were Mine", which reached #23 in 1993.

Personal lifeEdit

Chapman's husband, Ernest Chapman, died of cancer in 1994. In 2000, she experienced her own battle with breast cancer.[13] The song "Sand and Water" was written after Ernest's death; Elton John performed this song during his 1997 world tour. The song was featured on the episode "Sand and Water" in Season 7 of ER (2000), as well as in the Season 1 episode "Dead Man Dating" of the TV series Charmed in October 1998.

She has one son, Ernest (born 1981),[14] who is also a musician and has performed with her. In 2008, she got engaged to be married and living in Nashville, Tennessee.[15] This engagement was the inspiration for her album Back to Love.[16] In January 2011, Chapman married psychologist and photographer Bob Sherman, after a decade long courtship.[17]

Recent recordingsEdit

Chapman's album, Back to Love, was released in the United Kingdom on January 25, 2010, and in the United States on May 25, 2010. The album contained 11 new compositions. The single "Even As It All Goes By" closed out 2009 as BBC Radio 2's "Record of the Week" and was the only new single added to the "A list" of BBC Radio 2's playlist at the end of 2009. Additionally, Back To Love was BBC Radio 2's "Album of the Week" starting on January 18, 2010. The album Liv On was released on October 7, 2016, for digital download and on CD the following week. It features Olivia Newton-John and Amy Sky in songs about loss and moving on from grief. Chapman, Newton-John and Sky toured across Canada, the U.S., the U.K. and Ireland in 2017 in support of the album, performing mainly in smaller, more intimate venues. Her most recent album, Hearts of Glass, was released in 2018 and is available on CD, as an MP3 download or as a digital download.



Year Album Chart positions
US Heat US Christian US Indie
1980 Hearing It First
1990 Beth Nielsen Chapman 19
1993 You Hold the Key 16
1997 Sand and Water 30
1999 Greatest Hits
2002 Deeper Still
2004 Hymns 21 29 29
2005 Look
2007 Prism
2007 If Love Could Say God's Name DVD
2010 Back to Love 15
2012 The Mighty Sky
2014 Uncovered
2016 Liv On (with Olivia Newton-John and Amy Sky)
2018 Hearts of Glass


Year Single Chart positions Album
1991 "Walk My Way" 14 15 39 Beth Nielsen Chapman
"All I Have" 12 37 49
"I Keep Coming Back to You" 13
1992 "Life Holds On" 33
1993 "The Moment You Were Mine" 37 21 23 You Hold the Key
"Say It to Me Now"[18]
1994 "In the Time It Takes" 25 34
1997 "Sand and Water" 22 2 47 Sand and Water
2000 "Shake My Soul" 26 Where the Heart Is Soundtrack



  1. ^ "Celebrity birthdays on Sept. 14". 2012-09-14. Retrieved 2013-02-13.
  2. ^ "'Making music has healed me'". 2006-02-18. Archived from the original on 2013-10-19. Retrieved 2013-02-13.
  3. ^ a b Price, Karen (2010-02-13). "Singer beats mental block to bring out soul-searching album". Retrieved 2013-02-13.
  4. ^ a b "Interview with Beth Nielsen Chapman" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-02-13.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Beth Nielsen Chapman, Grand Opera House, October 19". 2004-07-16. Retrieved 2013-02-13.
  6. ^ "Music from the heart and soul". 2010-02-25. Retrieved 2013-02-13.
  7. ^ "Beth Nielsen Chapman". 2012-04-30. Archived from the original on 2013-03-26. Retrieved 2013-02-13.
  8. ^ 1976 band Harmony featuring Beth Nielsen Chapman including song samples
  9. ^ "Almost Time For Carpenter". 1999-03-26. Retrieved 2013-02-13.
  10. ^ Shapiro, Gregg (2005-10-20). "Female artists from the '80s and '90s". Gay and Lesbian Times. Archived from the original on 2006-01-06. Retrieved 2012-02-13.
  11. ^ Altman, Billy (2005-08-16). "Beth Nielsen Chapman - Look - Music - Reviews". Retrieved 2013-02-13.
  12. ^ Miller, Michael (2002-05-19). "Solid singer/songwriters fill up fringes of music world". Retrieved 2013-02-13.
  13. ^ Rice Jr., Bill (2009-02-27). "Montgomery's Beth Nielsen Chapman overcame adversity to build her career". Retrieved 2013-02-13.[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ Adams, Rob (2004-06-17). "Inspiration that comes from within; Beth Nielsen Chapman reveals the secret of her remarkable productivity to Rob Adams (payment required)". The Herald (Glasgow). Retrieved 2013-02-13.
  15. ^ Grant, Tracy (2008-07-20). "Singer finds world of faith". The Post and Courier. Retrieved 2013-02-13.
  16. ^ Ransom, Kevin (2010-08-17). "Beth Nielsen Chapman goes 'Back to Love' for show at The Ark". Retrieved 2013-02-13.
  17. ^ "Beth Nielsen Chapman: wife, mother, hit songwriter, breast cancer survivor". Prime Montgomery. 2011-10-03. Retrieved 2017-12-31.
  18. ^ "Single Reviews - Country" (PDF). Billboard. December 4, 1993.

External linksEdit