Who Sings "I Can Only Imagine?"

Bart Millard from MercyMe wrote "I Can Only Imagine" after the death of his father as a way to help himself heal. It was released in 2001 on Almost There and it wasn't long before mainstream radio was playing it all across the US. Over the next three years several other artists released their own versions of the song. The run didn't end there though. Since 2001, the song has become a favorite for Christian artists from all different genres. Some of the more popular releases are ...

MercyMe - 'Almost There' - 2001

MercyMe - Almost There
MercyMe - Almost There. INO Records

Although several other artists released MercyMe's song, in this case, the original has remained the best. Bart Millard's delivery touches your heart just as much as the events leading up to the writing of the song touched his.

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Rita Springer - 'Effortless' - 2002

Rita Springer - Effortless
Rita Springer - Effortless. E1 Music

With a folk/worship sound, Rita's version is the most different from all of the rest.

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Ivan Parker - 'Just Imagine' - 2003

Ivan Parker - Just Imagine
Ivan Parker - Just Imagine. Horizon Records

Ivan Parker delivers as he always does ... heartfelt, easy to listen to and with a traditional, southern gospel flavor.

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John Tesh - 'Red Rocks Platinum' - 2005

John Tesh - Red Rocks Platinum
John Tesh - Red Rocks Platinum. Spring Hill

Recorded at the Red Rocks concert, this song was also featured on the Worship at Red Rocks DVD from 2004.

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Wynonna - 'Her Story: Scenes From a Lifetime' - 2005

Wynonna - Her Story: Scenes From A Lifetime
Wynonna - Her Story: Scenes From A Lifetime. Curb Records

Wynonna opens this song talking about her father and how, while she hasn't met him, she knows that they will meet in Heaven. Beautifully done!

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Tim Hughes - 'Anthem Of The Free: Soul Survivor Live 2003'

Anthem Of The Free: Soul Survivor Live 2003
Anthem Of The Free: Soul Survivor Live 2003. Survivor Records

Recorded live at Soul Survivor, Tim Hughes was joined by Matt Redman, Vicky Beeching and Soul Survivor for this album. Tim's honesty and awe in his delivery takes this song to a whole 'nuther level. 

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Amy Grant - 'Legacy... Hymns & Faith' - 2002

Amy Grant - Legacy...Hymns & Faith
Amy Grant - Legacy...Hymns & Faith. Courtesy of: Word

Amy Grant strips the song down to the roots, yet the power of her voice definitely makes up the difference.

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Marie Osmond - 'I Can Do This' - 2010

Marie Osmond - I Can Do This
Marie Osmond - I Can Do This. Osmond Entertainment

Found on I Can Do This, an album dedicated to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals with all of the proceeds going to the charity that she co-founded, Marie's cover of the MercyMe song is heartfelt and delicate.

Seventh Day Slumber - 'Take Everything' - 2009

Seventh Day Slumber - Take Everything
Seventh Day Slumber - Take Everything. BEC Recordings

Found on Take Everything, Seventh Day Slumber gives the song a rock edge without losing the sentiment.

Jeff Carson - 'God Bless The USA - Best Of America, Vol. 3' - 2003

God Bless The USA - Best Of America, Vol. 3
God Bless The USA - Best Of America, Vol. 3. Curb Records

With a smooth country delivery, Jeff's version sounds quite close to Bart's.

Darla Day - 'These Are The Days' - 2003

Darla Day - These Are the Days
Darla Day - These Are the Days. Darla Day

Darla Day has the voice of an angel and she gives her version a little bit of country.

LaShell Griffin - 'Free' - 2004

LaShell Griffin - Free
LaShell Griffin - Free. Sony Urban/Epic

LaShell, the The Oprah Winfrey Show Pop Star Challenge winner, gave a Gospel make over to the song with a piano-driven sound.