Michael W Smith
Michael W. Smith is a three-time Grammy Award Winner and the winner of 40 Dove awards.
Michael Witaker Smith grew up in West Virginia and learned to the piano at a young age. At the age of 10 gave his live to God and found some older mentors. After high school in 1978 he moved to Nashville to pursue a music career, but fell into a bad scene. He began abusing alcohol and drugs as he played with various bands at clubs. In 1979 he had a breakdown and came back to the faith in a big way. He immediately joined a Christian group called Higher Ground and toured the church scene with them at their keyboardist.
Two years later Michael W. Smith was signed as a song writer for Meadowgreen Music and wrote a number of hits for other artists from Amy Grant to Bill Gaither. In 1982 he became the keyboardist for Amy Grant’s band and then became her opening act.
In 1983 Michael W. Smith released his first album on Reunion Records called The Michael W. Smith Project. His first big hit was a song he wrote with his wife called “Friends”. That album was followed by Michael W. Smith 2 the next year, then The Big Picture in 1986, and i 2 (EYE) in 1988. Michael W. Smith would go on to be famous for his Christmas tours, and it all started with the album called Christmas (1989).
In 1990 Michael W. Smith tried something a bit different. He took his message mainstream with the album Go West Young Man. The song “Place in this World” hit #6 on Billboard’s Hot 100. That was followed by Change Your World in 1992, I’ll Lead You Home in 1995.
In 1996 Michael W. Smith started his own record label called Rocketown Records. He didn’t record under his label himself, but signed others, starting with Chris Rice. His next albums Live the Life and Christmastime were both released in 1998.
On April 20, 1999 a tragic shooting that took place at Columbine High School in Colorado. Michael W. Smith wrote a song in honor of Cassie Bernall, a Christian student who stood up for her faith and lost her life that day. He performed “This Is Your Time” at the memorial services held for the Columbine victims.
Michael W. Smith often included a single song on his albums with no words, but his next album Freedom (2000) was entirely instrumental. That was followed by two albums that were different in style. They were worship music albums that were almost entirely made up of songs written by other people. The albums were called Worship (2001) and Worship Again (2002) which was recorded live. They were complimented by a DVD which was recorded live in Edmonton at YC Alberta and went gold in both Canada and the US.
In 2004 Michael W. Smith was contacted by the President and asked to write a song in remembrance of the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks. That same year he released a new album called Healing Rain which combined his pop and worship styles. That was followed by Stand in 2006. He released a third Christmas album called It’s a Wonderful Christmas time (2007) and a third worship album called A New Hallelujah (2008).
Michael W. Smith is not slowing down. He released the album Wonder in 2010 and continues to tour with 30 years of material to choose from. His latest album was recorded with a 65-piece orchestra. It is called Glory (2011) and it is his second instrumental album.
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