Gospel Singer Anthony Evans: A ‘Voice’ for the Gospel in Hollywood
By Jocelyn Hu
Just like any television program, NBC's "The Voice" has many things going on behind the scenes that the general audience does not witness.
As season 7 of the hit talent show premiers this week, one of those behind-the-scenes mysteries to viewers is, who chooses the people who go on the show?
One of the answers to that question may sound familiar to anyone who has paid attention to modern worship music-especially someone who has attended a seminar led by well known pastor/author/radio show host Tony Evans at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove.
Anthony Evans, a singer/songwriter, who has often led worship for his dad's seminars at The Cove, is a talent producer for "The Voice," which airs Mondays and Tuesdays this fall. After shining in the battle rounds as a season 2 contestant, he returned in this new role for season 7.
And as a contest and a producer, he understands the pressure of performance.
But as a Christian, he understands the need to be light in a dark world.
And that's why he is taking the Gospel to Hollywood.
Evans, 36, made a mainstream name for himself in one of the most epic battle rounds in the history of "The Voice."
"My experience as a contestant made me think outside the four walls of a church building," he said. "It made me think beyond the little world I created for myself.
"I had limited myself to a world of just believers. And that is not necessarily the only world God wants us to be in."
His latest album, Real Life/Real Worship, was born from his out-of-the-bubble experience in Los Angeles.
One of those experiences was a conversation he had with artists Christina Aguilera (one of the judges on the show) and Jewel (his advisor) behind the scenes.
Aguilera said to Evans: "Anthony, you are a Christian. You are a preacher's kid. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. What is underneath all that?"
That simple question made Evans examine his faith in a way he never had before: "That conversation made me aware that we, as Christians, have an obligation to get beyond the surface and experience real life-which leads to real worship. It takes real life to understand why we worship."
And it is being around the real lives of those in Hollywood that has inspired him to share the Gospel in new ways.
"Before we are in the limelight, we have these misconceptions. All we see is the red carpet, the flashing lights, the camera and the action. But on the other side of that camera is often a person in pain," explained Evans. "It doesn't matter how famous that person is, or how much money they have. No one has enough to buy themselves inner peace."
He wants the permanence of the Gospel to penetrate hearts far beyond the temporary presence of the red carpet: "Just as fast as the red carpet is being rolled out in front of you, it is being rolled up just as quickly. If your success is defined by all the accolades, you will fail. No one stays famous forever."
While he believes it is important for Christian artists to not shy away from mainstream media, he cautions that balance is needed.
"We need to be involved enough so that we can impact the culture, but we can be so involved that we become too much like the culture we are trying to reach," he said.
"So I have to be conscious of that and remove myself to recalibrate-go visit with family, friends, lead worship. And then go back prepared to reach people. If we alienate ourselves, we can't reach people."