Christian music sensation Steven Curtis Chapman will be performing “Cinderella” on CBS’s The Early Show Wednesday morning, sharing with the show’s 3 to 4 million viewers a song that has taken a deeper meaning since the passing of Maria Sue Chapman.
Chapman was originally scheduled to perform on The Early Show the Saturday prior to Father's Day on June 14, but the tragic loss of his 5-year-old daughter in May forced Chapman to cancel the engagement. On Wednesday, Chapman will honor his commitment and perform on television for the first time since the accident.
With the prayer support from fans and loved ones, “I hope and believe the Chapmans, and those around them, have walked well in honoring Maria and the Gospel thus far,” reported Chapman’s manager, Jim Houser, in his web log entry Tuesday.
“We pray it so for the days ahead too.”
It has been nearly four months since Maria, the youngest of the six Chapman children and one of three adopted from China, was accidentally and fatally struck by a sport utility vehicle in the driveway of the family's Williamson County home. The driver, 17-year-old Will Franklin Chapman, was returning home and did not see his sister running toward him to greet him.
Though the Chapman family initially declined all interviews and Steven Curtis Chapman mulled the idea of not returning to the stage, the family ultimately decided to speak out publicly.
Since participating in their first public interviews last month following Maria’s death, Chapman and his family have appeared on “Good Morning America,” “Larry King Live,” and “People” magazine.
Chapman has also been using the stage to share about his family's path toward recovery following Maria’s death.
Although Chapman had stopped touring and declined interviews after the May 21 tragedy, he decided later to continue with his U.S. concerts, according to manager Houser.
"We wanted to go forward and give him the opportunity to share his faith," Houser told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Beginning with Lifest in Oshkosh, Wisc., on July 11, Chapman hit the road and plans to continue through Sept. 20.
During Chapman’s time of mourning, the Christian music star had questioned whether or not he’d be able to perform “Cinderella” again. The song, inspired by his daughter Maria and Stevey Joy, is about a dad watching his daughter grow up and realizing that he should cherish every moment he has with her before those moments are “gone.”
In their appearance last month on "Larry King Live," the Chapmans were asked by a caller if it was difficult for them to listen to that song now.
Chapman’s eldest son, Caleb, who plays back up guitar for his father, replied: “[A]fter all this went down, we all questioned, are we ever going to go back out on the road? Are we ever going to be able to play music again? Because that's something that just reminds us of joy, and Maria was so much of that joy.”
“So we ended up getting back out on the road and I remember we all dreaded that song in the set,” Caleb continued. “It was like, dad told us, ‘We might not do it. I'm just going to have to see. When the show comes, I'm just going to have to see if it feels right.’”
And when the moment came, Caleb said the song prior to it “just kind of – just led him into ‘Cinderella’ real naturally.”
At the end of the song, however, Chapman steered away from the original lyrics, which state "the clock will strike midnight and she'll be gone."
Instead, Chapman said, “The clock will strike midnight but the truth is the dance will go on.”
“And that he'll dance with his daughter again,” Caleb recalled his father saying.
Currently, "Cinderella" remains in the top 10 at iTunes in the Christian section and is the top selling single on Chapman's latest album release, This Moment. "Yours," which Chapman added new verses to after the death of Maria, is also available at iTunes and other DSPs and continues to climb radio airplay charts.
In October, Chapman will team up with fellow Christian music superstar Michael W. Smith for the first time for “The United Tour,” a monthlong tour that kicks off Oct. 9 in Columbus, Ohio.
Chapman's international tours, meanwhile, have been canceled so he can be close to his family.