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Zach Williams and Dolly Parton Win Grammy for 'There Was Jesus'

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Zach Williams and Dolly Parton won the Grammy Award on Sunday for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song for their duet on Williams' song, "There Was Jesus".
"Without God, obviously, none of this is possible," the Christian artist said after receiving the award. "We are so grateful for this opportunity. We want to thank Dolly Parton for being a champion from day one in this song, thank our families, thank the academy. Hey, we love you guys, thanks so much."  

Williams was already "shocked" to even be nominated for the fifth time, saying the achievement seems "pretty crazy." In a new interview that aired on CBN's Studio 5 on March 10, Williams said he was surprised to be nominated for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song. 

"I didn't realize it had been five nominations already, I was pretty shocked about it," he said.

Williams performed his song "There Was Jesus" with country music legend Dolly Parton, which he explained has a significant meaning for him.

"This is very much my story if I think back to the last 20 years that it took me to get to where I'm at in my life," Williams said. "Even if I go back further than that to my childhood, I think about all these moments that I missed in my I can look back and see that God was in the middle of every one of them and working out the details. It's just a special song."

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Williams said the development of the song was unique too.

"I wrote the song with a couple other people and when we got the demo back, I heard this girls voice on it that just reminded me of Dolly Parton's and I said 'wouldn't it be really cool if we could get Dolly Parton to really sing on this.' Everybody kind of laughed but we tracked down her management and she agreed to listen to the song. The day that I met her, she told me that she didn't even make it to the chorus and she knew it was special."

"I found out that this is Dolly's 50th GRAMMY nomination," he added. "I thought how cool to be in this with's just a special song."

The singer also discussed his latest song, "Less Like Me," which takes into account that we are imperfect people that strive to be better with God's help.

"For myself as a Christian artist I can kind of beat myself up, trying to feel like I have to be on a pedestal 24/7 for a lot of people that are on the outside looking in," Williams explained. "They probably think we have our lives together and everything is perfect."

"I just wanted a song that felt real to people, to let them know that I struggle probably more than most and I have my days when I get it right, but I probably have more days that I get it wrong. My goal every day is to be more like Jesus and I just wanted something that just kind of made us all stop and think."

And Williams talked about taking a break from performing last year, which allowed him to spend more time with his family.

"It was honestly kind of a nice change just to get back and connect with my wife and kids after being on the road for the last few years," he said. "But, I think everybody is ready to get back out and see our fans and play some music." 

"There was Jesus" was written by Williams, Casey Beathard, and Jonathan Smith. The duet is Dolly Parton's first No. 1 on Billboard's Christian charts, according to the music magazine.  

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