Sandi Patty brings gospel show to Mt. Paran

During the recent GMA Dove Awards in Atlanta, gospel legend Sandi Patty drew a lot of praise for picking up her 40th award and dropping a lot of weight.

Indeed, the svelte-looking Patty has a lot going on these days.

She recently released a cookbook,  is currently on tour with "Sandi Patty & Friends," plans to release a CD of Broadway tunes and is tweeting up a storm.

"I'm a big tweeter," she said. " You can follow me @SandiPattyP."

Patty, who will perform in Atlanta at 7 p.m. Sunday at Mt. Paran Church, recently  talked with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Q: You've won 40 Dove Awards. What is about your music that continues to appeal to audiences ? What's the secret to your longevity in gospel music?

A: To tell you the truth, I hope I never figure that out. What I love about Christian music is it has helped me express my personal faith over the years. I've not always been real comfortable talking and I let the songs help me tell my story.

Q: You're doing this concert at a church and not a traditional concert venue?

A: The strategy seems to work really well to be in churches. We try to get the choirs involved. It just makes so much sense for us to do it there. All of us grew up in the church. So, doing a concert in the church make us feel right at home.

Q: What's your next project?

A: I have always wanted to do a project with some of the Broadway songs. The CD will be out in October. This is the first non-gospel project. We all have a bucket list and one of the things I've always wanted to do -- my parents always let us listen to a wide variety of music -- was to do Broadway songs. I love this music so much. In the sunset of my career I wanted to do this.

Q: Is this a precursor to being on Broadway?

A: I don't  know. As much as I've  said over the years that I wanted to do Broadway, I think it's a pretty big time commitment away from my family.

Q:You reached a personal milestone as well. There's a slimmer and trimmer Patty. How much have you lost?

A: I lost 75 pounds. Instead of saying lost, I say released. If you say lost it means you're trying to find it again. If you release something, hopefully it's gone for good.

Q: How did you do it?

A: With a whole lot of work and I had Lap-Band surgery about three years ago. Lap band surgery does not make weight loss easy but it makes it possible. You still have to work out and eat right.

Event preview:  Sandi Patty & Friends  including Larnelle Harris, Wayne Watson and Heather Payner. 7 p.m. Sunday at Mt. Paran Church, 2055 Mt. Paran Road.  general admission is $15. 404.923.8700,  www.mountparan.com.