Universal Music Group Nashville said Monday that it has signed Chrissy Metz, a star on NBC’s ensemble smash TV series This Is Us. The news comes the same day that the Diane Warren-penned song “I’m Standing With You” sung by Metz in the film Breakthrough earned an Oscar nomination.
“I am beyond excited. I was like, ‘Dare I wake up early and watch [the nominations]?’ Because you never know. There’s a lot of people who write a lot of great songs, so my heart was pounding out of my chest,” Metz shares. “When they announced it, I actually couldn’t believe it. I was in shock; I don’t think I’ve been in shock before.”
UMG Nashville was behind the soundtrack for the 20th Century Fox faith-based film, which bowed in April on Easter Weekend and marked Disney’s first Fox release under the combined regime. It ended up grossing $50.4 million at the box office.
Based on a true story, Breakthrough revolves around Joyce Smith (Metz), whose 14-year-old son falls through a frozen lake in Missouri; he stayed in the water for 15 minutes before being pulled out. Through prayer and against impossible odds, Joyce asked God for help by her son’s ER bedside until his heart started to beat again. She was saying loudly, “Holy God, please send your Holy Spirit to save my son.”
From Metz’s perspective, the way in which people have connected with the film has been profound. At the same time, the actress wasn’t sure whether “I’m Standing With You” would register at the Oscars. “It was a beautiful faith-based movie that a lot of people loved, but we didn’t necessarily have a huge campaign behind it, raising awareness. It was really sort of grassroots,” she said. “I hope you take away from the film that we really are stronger together than we are apart. We’re all in this together, trying to get through the really difficult things. But also, miracles really do happen.”
Also starring in the film, produced by DeVon Franklin based on Smith’s book, are Josh Lucas, Topher Grace, Mike Colter, Sam Trammell and Dennis Haysbert.
In April, Metz performed “I’m Standing With You” at the Academy of Country Music Awards. She is now working on her debut country album.
“Chrissy Metz is simply tapped into America’s emotional conscience,” Universal Music Group Nashville president Cindy Mabe on Monday. “Music was her first love and no matter if she’s singing, acting, writing or just being, she’s always real, powerful and fully connected with her audience. I can’t wait to put her musical story into the world and I’m so inspired to bring her into the Universal Music Group Nashville family.”
Metz has starred in all four seasons of This Is Us as Kate Pearson, who like her mother, wants to be a singer. The role has earned her an Emmy nomination and two Golden Globe noms.