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Waverly native finds her voice on 'Evan Almighty' soundtrack
Waverly native Nikki Hassman and her husband Adam Anders's song, "Be a Miracle" is on the soundtrack of "Evan Almighty." The song is now available for download on iTunes.
Courtesy photo

WAVERLY -- Nikki Hassman has shared the stage with Grammy award winners and now has found a place on the big screen -- or at least the soundtrack to the big screen. Her latest performance, with her husband Adam Anders, is in "Evan Almighty," which opened last month in theaters nationwide.

"We are featured on the 'Evan Almighty' soundtrack performing a gospel song called 'Be The Miracle,'" said Hassman, who grew up in Waverly.

This week, the song became available on iTunes.

"Success came early on for both of us and then there were a few years of struggle -- pushing the rock up the hill. You have to maintain yourself as you go through struggles in the entertainment business. Faith is important. In our life we are accountable to each other," Hassman said.

Hassman's career started as the original soprano in the Contemporary Christian Music group Avalon. She recorded two albums that sold more than 1.5 million records and won three Dove Awards, which recognize Christian and gospel music.

Anders grew up in the music business. He got his jump start at age 16, touring as the bass player for one of Christian contemporary music's most successful recording artists, Steven Curtis Chapman. He made another leap forward when he programmed and arranged the entire album, "Speechless," Chapman's biggest selling album to date.

Hassman and Anders work from a 10,000-square-foot complex, Pulse Studios on Broadway, near Union Square in New York City. They collaborate with a wide range of artists, from urban pop to guitar-driven pop/rock. Their client roster includes some of the biggest names in the music business -- Backstreet Boys, Cheryl Crow, Clay Aiken, Nick Lachey and Celine Dion.

The duo also is working on their own album under the moniker Room For Two, which describes their one-bedroom apartment in New York.

"Apartments rent for $1,000 a square foot," Hassman said. "I love living in New York City, even on rainy days and with the hassle of getting a cab or waiting in line at the subway."

The couple often work in the studio until midnight, reserving mornings for quiet time at home. During that quiet time is when Hassman connects with her Iowa roots.

"Nikki calls almost every day," said her mom, Lynda Hassman.

Some calls are just to chat. Other times, to share exciting news.

"I called home to tell Mom and Dad we were going to perform in Las Vegas," Hassman said. "It was our first major stage performance."

In February, the Hassman and Anders were part of a two-night concert at Las Vegas' Aladdin Theatre in celebration of the Chinese New Year. They share the stage with big names like Gnarls Barkley and Kanye West. The final show aired on Chinese television to 300 million viewers.

"We had 10 minutes to perform three songs," Hassman said.

What they didn't expect was the star treatment afterward.

"It was our first red carpet walk. I wasn't prepared. I didn't have time to do my hair or makeup. Adam had to even remind me to take off my name tag, but it was fun," Hassman said.

On July 7, the couple made a stop in Nashville for production of their first music video. Curb Records and Revolution Films is making a video for the couple's "Evan Almighty" track. The video will appear on the DVD release of the film.

Also, their first album together, "Roots Before Branches," will be released on Curb/WB records this fall. The album features acoustic, soulful pop songs about the comedy and joy of real relationships.

"We want it to be soul-searching with uplifting message of hope and life's purposes," Hassman said. "We aren't teenagers. We do pop for adults."

Hassman's father, Gaylen, a Waverly attorney, is in the wings watching his daughter's career.

"I always told Nikki and our son, Cameron, to do what you want in life and have fun," he said.

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