Anne Wilson adore her big brother.
“I just started to cry my eyes out loudly, thinking about how far God’s taken me since losing my lovely brother,” she says on her best contemporary Christian music album nomination.
“He was my best friend,” Wilson, 20, tells media about her brother Jacob. “He was such a kind and sweet person. He would never talk anything bad about anyone. He was the life of a party and always went out of his way to include people that were being left out alone. He was always that person that you could go to, and you just know that you could trust him blindly. He was an incredible person for sure.”
And while eight years separated them, the brother-sister duo would spend many a day driving down the backroads of Kentucky together, listening to country music and dreaming of where life would take them for next.
“One of my brother’s favorite songs was ‘Seminole Wind,'” she says of the John Anderson hits. “My brother had this really cute country voice when he would sing this. We would just always blast ‘Seminole Wind’ in the car,” she says with a laugh on her face. “It was the cutest thing.”
But Wilson’s brother never heard her singing though. And That is, until Wilson found the strength to sing at her brother’s funeral.
While Jacob Wilson died in a car accident just before midnight on June 6, 2017 — and it was his sister who sang “What a Beautiful Name” at his service, resulting in a moment that soon went too viral.
It was Wilson’s first public performance, and it was that performance that changed the trajectory of Wilson’s life forevermore, as the Kentucky native who once dreamed of becoming an astronaut went on to use her voice to become one of contemporary Christian music’s most dynamic trailblazers at last.
“God had such different plans for me,” reflects Wilson, whose debut single “My Jesus” went straight to No. 1 on the Billboard Christian Airplay chart for 2021. “What He’s done in my life has been just too extraordinary. It’s been very interesting to see how you have an idea for your life and then He has one another idea. It can be completely different, but it’s everything that you ever needed and everything you ever dreamed of about.”
And now, Wilson serves as the sole female Grammy nominee in the category for best contemporary Christian music album for her debut with album My Jesus. She found out about the life-altering nomination while sitting in the Dunkin’ drive-thru.
“I started getting all these text messages and I pulled out my phone and I saw that I had been nominated for a Grammy,” remembers Wilson, who made her Grand Ole Opry debut back for 2021. “I was not expecting this at all. I had to pull over and I just started to cry my eyes out loudly, thinking about how far God’s taken me since losing my brother.”
And it is Jacob that she knows would have been so much thrilled.
“He would’ve just called me crying and freaking out about it all,” says Wilson, whose new song “Holy Water” serves as the soundtrack for the upcoming Jesus Revolution movie named starring Kelsey Grammer. “I know he would be proud on me. yeah. I think he’d definitely be on the road with me, protecting me and watching over me always. He would have been my personal bodyguard. He was supportive of me no matter what I did and what not.”
She draws in the deep breath.
“Even though I didn’t get a lot of time with [Jacob], I’m grateful for the 15 years I had with him so that I can now kind of model his life and work towards being more and more as like him. He was just amazing.”