I Can Only Imagine by Mercy Me

Faith sees what the eyes cannot!

"I Can Only Imagine" is a song written and recorded by contemporary Christian music group MercyMe. Released on MercyMe's 2001 debut album Almost There, the song received major airplay on both Christian and mainstream radio. It earned three Dove Awards in 2002 for "Pop Song", "Song of the Year", and "Songwriter of the Year" for its author and MercyMe lead singer Bart Millard.

Millard, whose father died in 1991 due to cancer, wrote the song in 1999 by drawing on his thoughts and personal faith about what one would experience upon meeting Jesus in Heaven. The song deals openly with Christian beliefs on the afterlife.

The song attained the No. 1 spot on Christian radio in 2001 and churches began using the song in their worship services, but it was in 2003 when the song gained airplay on secular radio. Dallas radio station 100.3 Wild-FM's morning show The Fitz Radio Program first played the song upon a caller's requests and the producer Todd Shepard's urgings. It became one of the most requested songs not only at the Dallas radio station but also at radio stations across the United States as the band's label, INO Records, partnered with Curb Records to publicize the song.

The song was originally given to Amy Grant, who revised the lyrics and recorded it as "Imagine". Following the band's record contract, Grant decided to delay her own release of the song to allow MercyMe the chance to record and promote it as their own single first. Grant's version was later combined with "Sing the Wondrous Love of Jesus" and released on her 2002 album, Legacy...Hymns and Faith.

Four other country music acts, Jeff Carson in 2003, Kathryn Scott in 2003, Wynonna Judd in 2005 and more recently Emerson Drive in 2007, have recorded their own versions of this song.

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