Patty recorded her first album, For My Friends, an independent effort, that landed in the hands of executives at Singspiration! records. In 1979, she was signed to Singspiration! and released her first professional record,Sandi's Song. According to the FAQ section on her website, the name on her birth certificate is Sandra Patty.A printer's error on the labeling listed her name as Sandi Patti, and she used this moniker as her stage name for the next fifteen years, before correcting it to Sandi Patty.
At the peak of herCAREER, Patty's concerts were so heavily attended that she performed in often sold-out mainstream arenas and concert halls. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, she averaged over 200 concerts a year, and supported a staff of over 30 that managed herCAREER. In 1995, she was also featured in the Warren Chaneydocudrama, America: A Call to Greatness. During this period of time Patty was noted, often critically, as the highest-paid singer in the Christian music industry averaging over $100,000 per appearance, largely due to massive touring and high-profile public appearances.
In 1992, the news of Patty's divorce from manager John Helvering shocked the gospel music industry. The reason for the split was later revealed to beinfidelity which subsequently stalled her career in the mid 1990s. During her marriage, it was later reported that Patty had an extramarital affair with her back up singer, Don Peslis, who was also married at the time. Patty divorced Helvering in 1993 and married Peslis in August 1995. Confronted with rumors of the affair just two weeks into her marriage with Peslis, Patty made a full confession to her church congregation.
In both interviews and in her autobiography, Broken on the Back Row, Patty expressed remorse and took full responsibility for her past actions and revealed the steps she took in seeking the forgiveness from those that her actions most affected.
In 2000, Patty had a guest singing appearance at the end of a 7th Heaven episode (season four, episode 20). She appeared in the 2006 annual Macy'sThanksgiving Day Parade in New York. A televised performance of Sandi Patty's Yuletide Special was filmed for syndication in 2006, with other performers—including the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the U.S. Air Force Reserve Band.
In May 2008, Patty released her 30th studio recording, Songs for the Journey, in which she covers classic hymns of the church and other modern gospel classics. 2008 also saw the release of five separate compilation recordings of past songs taken from previous albums. In 2009, Patty received two GMA Dove Award nominations: Female Vocalist of the Year, and Inspirational Album of the Year (Songs for the Journey).
Simply Sandi, an acoustic album, is the first solo project to be released on her own record label, Stylos Records (a label with three artists—Sandi, Ben Utecht, and Heather Payne). It was released on May 5, 2009. This album includes new renditions of some of Sandi's most beloved songs including "In Heaven's Eyes", "Via Dolorosa" and "The Stage is Bare". WEA Distribution is the distributor for Stylos Records, although this album is not being released commercially.
In Fall 2009, Patti released her first live Christmas album entitled Christmas: LIVE. The album includes live performances of her past Christmas favorites including "O Holy Night", "Someday", and a duet with her husband Don Peslis in "The Prayer".
In Fall 2010, The Edge of the Divine was released. The album featured the new version of Patty's popular song "We Shall Behold Him", previously released in 2004 on "Hymns of Faith...Songs of Inspiration" plus eight new songs with a fresh contemporary sound—one of which she performs with Heather Payne. A book of the same name was also released—with the sub-title "Where Possibility Meets God's Faithfulness."
In October 2011, Patty released Broadway Stories, a secular album. From iTunes Review: "Before Sandi Patty was a Christian music star, she developed her craft by performing stage standards and pop tunes from the Great American Songbook. Broadway Stories reaffirms her mastery of such material against gorgeous backdrops provided by the 64-piece Prague Symphony Orchestra. From the first track to the last, Patty shows an easy command of the Broadway idiom, applying her formidable pipes to material worthy of her talents."
In January, 2012, Patty starred as Dolly Levi in the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra's world premiere concert stage version of the Broadway musical, "Hello, Dolly!" to rave reviews.
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Patty is known for her wide vocal range, flexibility, and emotional expression. In her early recordings, she created a trademark for herself by exploiting her range to its fullest advantage, through the "power ballad" vehicle, sweeping orchestral gestures, and a series of key modulations building to a crescendo and signature high vocal ending.
This style, often defined as being in the "inspirational" genre of Christian music, flourished throughout the 1980s. In later years, Patty's versatility has allowed her to expand into other styles, such as black gospel, southern gospel, classic and modern pop, and American musical theater. On her official website, she discusses her range saying "To be honest, my range has changed a bit over the years but my mom says it’s about four octaves (F below middle C to high F above double high C). Really singing high is just like screaming on pitch."