Edgar County Christian Country Artist honored by fans


Edgar County Christian Country Artist Amanda Fessant recently was named the 2008 Female Horizon Artist of the Year at this year's Christian Country Fan Appreciation Awards Fan Awards.

The award show is the culmination of the Christian country music festival, Agape Fest, in Jefferson, Texas and is sponsored by one of the industry's Christian country radio stations.  The festival showcases the biggest and newest talent in the nation in the Christian country market.  The wards are voted on by the fans, and fans from all over the United States come out to support their favorite artists.

Fessant, who was born and raised in Paris, IL , was excited and honored to be asked to sing on the award show this year.

"What an honor it was to spend time with my fans from all over, to meet the radio station DJs that have supported my music and helped me get the message of God's love out to country, and to have the opportunity to visit with other artists that feel called to use their music to celebrate our Lord and Savior!" Fessant said.

Fessant and her husband B.J. Fessant, who is a radio disc jockey at their local station WPRS AM 1440, of Paris, were asked to present the award for group or band.  B.J. was also the master of ceremonies for one of the many concert showcases.

Amanda did not expect to win.  "I was honored by the nominations and was taken back when my name was called out.  I looked at B.J. and my producer to see if it was for real.  When I looked down at my mom and my kids, who were going crazy, I realized I needed to make my way up to the stage." she said. 

Standing backstage to congratulate Fessant was Joanne Cash, sister and longtime duet partner of the late Johnny Cash, who was the recipient of this year's Golden Legend Award.  Fessant also was joined by her producer, Robert Jason, who has worked with Alabama, the Oak Ridge Boys, Rod Stewart and many more.

"I am proud of her.  We are like family and it couldn't have happened to a better person.  She has a heart of the people and uses her music to touch them in ways that amaze me.  She is very Christ-centered and even though her talents could take her far beyond this industry, she continues to surrender them to Christ and just go love the people.  They showed her some of that love today as they honored her with this award and how deserving she is." Jason said.

Fessant doesn't have much time to stop and take in all the excitement as she is off and on the road again.  She has been asked and will participate in this year's Fan Fair in Nashville, signing autographs at a booth and being a part of the Sunday Mornin' Country Concert at the historic Ryman Auditorium, the home of the original Grande Ole Opry.

"I am excited and amazed.  I have dreamed of being on that stage and to share it with so many I grew up watching and learning from is just amazing," she said.  Some of the artists Fessant will be sharing the stage with is the host of the event, country music legend Brenda Lee; and Wynonna, Aaron Tippin, Ricky Skaggs, Linda Davis and Melanie Walker.

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