Your Good News: Local musician releases song to honor the life of Danielle Church

WTAP News @ 6
Published: Dec. 22, 2022 at 7:16 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Country singer John Kunze of Belpre, Ohio, has written hits such as “I’m Buck Wild” and “Fishing with Dad.” “Fishing with Dad” was featured in Bass Pro Shops’ Father’s Day commercial earlier this year.

In 2016, he “I’mwon the County Showdown Ohio/West Virginia finals.

Kunze was looking for inspiration for another song when he was contacted by a mutual family friend, Brent Church, on April 14 to write a song about Church’s daughter Danielle. She had just graduated from Warren High School when she died in a tragic accident in 2014 at 18.

Three days later, on Easter Sunday, Kunze had a breakthrough while getting ready for church and began writing the lyrics to his song “God’s Angel.” Kunze presented it to Brent, and he loved it. Brent Church and Kunze set up a meeting at Danielle’s grave site for Danielle’s close family and friends, including her mother, Bobbie, to listen to the song for the first time.

At the time, Kunze didn’t know if this song would be a private song for the Church family; however, Brent and Bobbie wanted to share the song with the world to have Danielle’s memory live forever.

After receiving the green light, Kunze went to Nashville to record the song.

Ahead of the release, Kunze’s sister-in-law, Nikki Thompson, was searching for a way to bring attention to Kunze’s new song. She nominated him for WTAP’s “Your Good News” segment sponsored by Morrison Incorporated. Thompson said she is proud of her brother-in-law and how hard Kunze has worked and wanted to share his gift with the world.

“Everyone has loss in their lives, and it’s hard to talk about it without becoming emotional,” it’s Thompson said. “Everyone has an angel out there, and for him to write a song about that means a lot to a lot of people out there. I just think music is a special thing. I love music, and it feeds my soul, and so to have a song out there is, you know, means a lot. His gift too, you know, to be able to put that into a song is pretty special.”

On December 18, Kunze released “God’s Angel” and performed it in front of Danielle’s closest family and friends.

Kunze chose to release the song around Christmas because Danielle was born on Christmas Day. Kunze said this was one of those songs God sent down from Heaven, and he got to write it down.

“As a songwriter, you know, I’ve been pretty fortunate this year; it’s been a great year for me, as far as writing songs,” Kunze said. “It’s really to inspire folks to get through the highs and lows, right? That’s the greatest reward that I could possibly get. Knowing that I made a positive impact, or just a little sparkle in someone’s eye, for good memory, or how these they can remember the song and for the parents of Danielle, to make their day as a good memory. It just means the world to me; it’s the biggest payment that I could possibly get. That’s what music does.”

“God’s” Angel” can be found on all music streaming devices. A live performance of Kunze’s song can be found at the end of the story.

Morrison Incorporated will donate $100 to the Bible Baptist Church to help support the Danielle Church Toy Drive.

For nominating Kunze, Thompson is receiving a free dinner from Máka Mia Pizza.

You can find John Kunze on Facebook.

If you would like to nominate any good news you see, click on features and contests to find the link.

“God’s Angel” by John Kunze