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Michael W. Smith

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Biography

Other persons|Michael SmithInfobox musical artist| name = Michael W. Smith| image = Michael W. Smith.jpg| alt = Michael W. Smith in a brown western-style shirt wearing a straw cowboy hat, on stage during a performance. He is holding a cordless microphone in his right hand and pointing into the audience with his left.| caption = Michael W. Smith performing in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, September 2005.| background = solo_singer| birth_name = Michael Whitaker Smith| birth_date = Birth date and age|1957|10|07| birth_place = Kenova, West Virginia|Kenova , West Virginia , USA| death_date =| death_place =| origin = Nashville, Tennessee|Nashville , Tennessee , USA| instrument = Piano, keyboards, vocals, guitar| genre = Contemporary Christian music|CCM , Christian rock , pop rock | occupation = Singer-songwriter , musician , composer , actor | years_active = 1983 in music|1983 �present| label = Reunion Records|Reunion , Provident Label Group | associated_acts = Amy Grant , Kathy Troccoli , Chris Rice , Steven Curtis Chapman | website = URL| http://www.michaelwsmith.com/ Michael Whitaker Smith (born October 7, 1957) is an American contemporary Christian music ian, who is best known for his Billboard Hot 100 top ten hit song, "Place in this World". As a longtime Musician, he has charted primarily in the contemporary Christian and occasionally in the mainstream charts.citenews|url= http://www.compassion.com/press/archivednews/michaelwsmithhelpscompassion.htm |title= Michael W. Smith Helps Compassion Gain Nearly 4,000 Sponsorships |last=Strombitski|first=Mary Ann |coauthors=Matt Williams |date=January 31, 2003|publisher= Compassion International |accessdate=2009-08-15 His biggest success in mainstream music was in 1991 when "Place in this World" hit No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100. Smith is a three-time Grammy Award winner, and has earned 40 Dove Awards . Over the course of his career, he sold more than 13 million albums and recorded 29 No. 1 Hit songs, fourteen gold albums, and five platinum albums. Smith is an American Music Award recipient; he was also named one of People (magazine)| People magazine's "Most Beautiful People"."'Inspiring' Smith set for Spirit Jam", Corpus Christi Caller Times , http://www.caller.com/news/2008/aug/01/inspiring-smith-set-for-spirit-jam/ August 1, 2008.

Early life



Michael Whitaker Smith was born to Paul and Barbara Smith in Kenova, West Virginia . His father was an oil refinery worker at the Ashland Oil Refinery, one of the top ten largest oil refineries in the world, in nearby Catlettsburg, Kentucky and his mother was a caterer .cite web |url= Allmusic|class=artist|id=p2400/biography|pure_url=yes |title=Michael W. Smith: Biography |publisher= Allmusic |accessdate=2009-08-15 |author=Sandra Brennan He inherited his love of baseball from his father, who had played in the minor league baseball|minor leagues . As a child, he developed a love of music through his church. He learned piano at an early age and sang in his church choir. At the age of 10, he had "an intense spiritual experience" that led to his becoming a devout Christian . "I wore this big cross around my neck," he would recall, "It was very real to me."cite journal|last=Long|first=Jim|title=Michael W. Smith Looks Back|journal= Christianity Today |month=March|year=1988|volume=46|issue=8|pages=56 He became involved in Bible study and found a group of older friends who shared his religious faith.

After his older Christian friends moved away to college, Smith began to struggle with feelings of loneliness and alienation. After graduating from high school, he gravitated toward alcohol and drugs. He attended Marshall University for a few semesters while developing his songwriting skills. He also played with various local bands around Huntington, West Virginia . During that time, his friend Shane Keister , who worked as a session musician in Nashville, Tennessee|Nashville , encouraged him to move to Nashville, the Country Music capital, and pursue a career in music.

In 1978, Smith moved to Nashville, taking a job as a landscaper to support himself. He played with several local bands in the Nashville club scene. He also developed a problem with substance abuse .

cquote|I really started losing touch when I moved to Nashville, around April of '78. I was smokin' marijuana , drinking, doing some other drugs; just being crazy, you know. My mom and dad knew what I was doing. But they never hassled me, they just prayed for me. And I felt convicted by God. Every time I'd wake up I knew: This isn't me. But I couldn't change myself.
In November 1979, Smith suffered a breakdown that led to his recommitment to Jesus Christ. The next day he auditioned for a new contemporary Christian music (CCM) group, Higher Ground, as a keyboardist and got the job. It was on his first tour with Higher Ground, playing mostly in churches, that Smith was finally able to put the drugs and alcohol behind him.

Career


In 1981, Smith was signed as a writer to Meadowgreen Music, where he wrote a number of gospel hits penned for artists such as Sandi Patty , Kathy Troccoli , Bill Gaither (gospel singer)|Bill Gaither and Amy Grant , to the effect that some of these popular worship songs can now be found in church hymnals . The following year, Smith began touring as a keyboardist for Grant on her Age to Age tour. He would eventually become Grant's opening act and recorded his first Grammy -nominated solo album The Michael W. Smith Project (which he also produced) in 1983 on the Reunion Records label, a label started by Grant's brother-in-law, Dan Harrell, along with Michael Blanton. This album contained the first recording of his hit "Friends", which he co-wrote with his wife Deborah. They wrote it one afternoon for a friend who was moving away.

By the time Smith's second pop music|pop album was released in 1984, he was headlining his own tours. In 1986, Smith released The Big Picture (Michael W. Smith album)|The Big Picture , record producer|produced by Johnny Potoker. Smith intros "Tearin' Down the Wall" with an Amy Grant recording of "Emmanuel" played backwards via the CD search button. He has explained that he and Potoker were trying to come up with a different way to go into the song.Citation needed|date=July 2011
After the release of his 1988 effort, i 2 (EYE) , Smith once again teamed up with Grant for her " Lead Me On (Amy Grant album)|Lead Me On World Tour". The following year, Smith recorded his first Christmas album.

In the mainstream


In 1990, Smith released Go West Young Man , his first mainstream effort, including the mainstream crossover (music)|crossover hit "Place in This World," which peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 . In 1992, he released Change Your World (Michael W. Smith album)|Change Your World (which included the No. 1 adult contemporary hit " I Will Be Here for You "), 1995's '' I'll Lead You Home '', and 1998's Live the Life . Also in 1998, Smith released his second Christmas effort, Christmastime . In 1999, Smith released " This Is Your Time (Michael W. Smith album)|This Is Your Time " (about Cassie Bernall , one of the students killed during the Columbine High School massacre|Columbine massacre ). In the music video for this song, the beginning shows a real video of Bernall talking about her religious beliefs and how she wanted to spread the word of God. Smith wrote the song with Wes King , the brother-in-law of Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris . Smith had been asked to perform at some of the memorial services that were held in honor of the victims.

In 1996, Smith opened his own record label, Rocketown Records , named for a song on The Big Picture . He does not personally record on it. He states the label is driven by the artists, and the first artist signed was Chris Rice , who had written "Go Light Your World", a No. 1 hit song by Kathy Troccoli , in 1995. In 1999, Smith collaborated with Jim Brickman on "Love of My Life" from the album Destiny , which went to No. 9 on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks .

Nearly all of Smith's albums contain at least one instrumental track, and in 2000, Smith recorded his first all instrumental album, Freedom (Michael W. Smith album)|Freedom . The following year, Smith released an all Christian music album, Worship (album)|Worship , on September 11. This album was followed by a sequel, Worship Again in 2002, recorded live at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY. Both albums were recorded live in concert. (Both are also the only two albums to be composed almost entirely of songs he did not write himself). A Worship DVD , which comprised a selection of songs from both albums, was recorded live in Edmonton , Alberta at Youth Conference (Christian)|YC Alberta and released in 2002. It immediately topped the Billboard video charts and went gold record|gold in both the U.S. and Canada.

Smith won the Male Vocalist of the Year award at the GMA Music Awards in 2003.cite web|last=|first=|title=GMA Dove Awards Male Vocalist of the Year History|url= http://christianmusic.about.com/od/doves/tp/gmamalevocalisthistory.htm About.com|accessdate=10 November 2011

Smith wrote a song entitled "There She Stands", inspired by the September 11, 2001 attacks . He performed this song live for the 2004 Republican National Convention ,cite journal| last=Croteau | first=Roberta | title =Ready for His Close-up |journal= CCM Magazine | date=December 2004|url = http://www.ccmmagazine.com/search/11535181/ |accessdate= 15 August 2009 saying that President George W. Bush , whom he said is a fan and a family friend, had asked him to write a song about the attacks.cite web|last=Woodland|first=Shannon|title=Mr. Smith Goes to Washington|url= http://www.cbn.com/cbnmusic/interviews/700club_mwsmith112404.aspx CBN Music|accessdate=10 November 2011

Smith's album, Healing Rain , was released in 2004 and debuted at No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 200 Chart. The title track rose to No. 1 on the Radio & Records Charts and a music video for the song was released. The album nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album , combines the pop style of his previous recordings with the religious feel of his two releases in that genre. A new album, Stand (Michael W. Smith album)|Stand , was released in November 2006.

In October 2007, he released '' It's a Wonderful Christmas . On June 20, 2008, Smith recorded his third live Worship album at the Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas , titled A New Hallelujah . It was released in October 2008. That same month he began a tour with Steven Curtis Chapman . In September 2010, he released Wonder'', http://www.cbn.com/cbnmusic/reviews/michael-w-smith-wonder-review-von-buseck.aspx Michael W. Smith Reveals the "Wonder" of God's Grace: Review, CBN.com . and in October started touring with Third Day , tobyMac , and Max Lucado on the "Make a Difference" tour.

Other ventures



In 1994, Smith opened a teen club, named Rocketown , in Nashville, Tennessee (6th Avenue). Later in early 2003, the club was moved to a new location�a renovated warehouse in downtown Nashville. The venue offers a large dance floor, extensive indoor skate park, and a cafe hosting live acoustic music.

Smith is actively involved in volunteer service and is vice chair of the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation , which is chaired by Jean Case of the Case Foundation . He is also an avid spokesperson for sponsoring children through Compassion International .cite journal| last=Phan | first=Katherine T. | title =CCM Artists Lend Voices for Children |journal= Christianity Today | year=2007|url= http://www.christiantoday.com/article/ccm.artists.lend.voices.for.children/13557.htm |accessdate= 15 August 2009 Smith finished work on a film directed by Steve Taylor entitled The Second Chance which was released on February 17, 2006 in selected theatres. In the movie, he stars as a pastor assigned to work in the inner city. The DVD of the movie was released in July 2006.

Personal life



Smith is married to Deborah "Debbie" Kay Davis (b. 1958) and has five children: Ryan Whitaker, Whitney Katherine Smith-Mooring (married to Jack Mooring (of the band Leeland (band)|Leeland )), Tyler Michael (keyboard player for the United Tour), Anna Elizabeth and Emily Allison. He resides in the Nashville suburbs and spends time at the Smith family farm.

Alderson-Broaddus College awarded Smith the degree Doctor of Music honoris causa in 1992.

Smith is the founding pastor of New River Fellowship in Franklin, Tennessee , where he was the lead pastor from 2006 to 2008. Currently Smith and his wife remain involved members of the church.

Smith supports the Republican Party (United States)|Republican Party , and is personal friends with several prominent Republicans, including former President George W. Bush .cite web|url= http://www.christianitytoday.com/music/interviews/2004/michaelwsmith-1004.html|title=The Real Dubya (interview with Michael W. Smith)|date=2004-04-10|accessdate=2008-02-12|author=Russ Breimeiercite web| url= http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2002/09/20020925-6.html|title=Remarks by the President at the National Republican Senatorial Committee Annual Dinner |date=2002-09-25|accessdate=2008-02-12|publisher= The White House cite web |url= http://blog.4president.org/2008/2007/02/michael_w_smith.html|title=Michael W. Smith Endorses Brownback for President |publisher=blog4president.us |accessdate=2008-08-17 |author=

Works


Discography


main|Michael W. Smith discography
col-begincol-break
  • The Michael W. Smith Project (1983)

  • Michael W. Smith 2 (1984)

  • The Big Picture (Michael W. Smith album)|The Big Picture (1986)

  • i 2 (EYE) (1988)

  • Christmas (Michael W. Smith album)|Christmas (1989)

  • Go West Young Man (1990)

  • Change Your World (Michael W. Smith album)|Change Your World (1992)

  • '' I'll Lead You Home (1995)

  • Live the Life (1998)

  • Christmastime (Michael W. Smith album)|Christmastime (1998)

  • This Is Your Time (Michael W. Smith album)|This Is Your Time (1999)

  • col-break
  • Freedom (Michael W. Smith album)|Freedom (2000)

  • Worship (2001 album)|Worship (2001)

  • Worship Again (2002)

  • Healing Rain (2004)

  • Stand (Michael W. Smith album)|Stand (2006)

  • '' It's a Wonderful Christmas (2007)

  • A New Hallelujah (2008)

  • Wonder (Michael W. Smith album)|Wonder (2010)

  • Glory (Michael W. Smith album)|Glory (2011)cite web|last=|first=|title=Michael W. Smith Discography|url= http://www.allmusic.com/artist/michael-w-smith-p2400/discography Allmusic |accessdate=December 14, 2011cite web|last=|first=|title=Discography|url= http://www.michaelwsmith.com/disc.html Michael W. Smith |accessdate=December 14, 2011

  • col-end

    Publications


  • Old Enough to Know . Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1987.

  • Friends are Friends Forever . Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1997.

  • Your Place in This World . Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1998.

  • This Is Your Time: Make Every Moment Count . Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1999.

  • The Price of Freedom . Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2001.

  • Worship . Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2002.

  • Freedom . Milwaukee: Hal Leonard Corporation, 2002.

  • ''It's Time to Be Bold . New York: Doubleday Books, 2003.

  • Above All . Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2003.

  • Signs . Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2004.

  • Healing Rain . Nashville: Thomas-Nelson. 2004.

  • A Simple Blessing . Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011.cite web|last=|first=|title=Michael W. Smith Artist Literature|url= http://www.jesusfreakhideout.com/artists/michaelwsmith.asp Jesus Freak Hideout |accessdate=December 14, 2011


  • Audio books


  • The Gospels Come to Life . Irving, Texas: Gospels Come to Life, 2003.


  • Awards


    ;Grammy Awards
  • 1984 Best Gospel Performance, Male for Michael W. Smith 2

  • 1995 Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album for I�ll Lead You Home

  • 2002 Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album for Worship Again


  • ;Grammy Nominations
  • 1983 Best Gospel Performance, Male for Michael W. Smith Project

  • 1986 Best Gospel Performance, Male for The Big Picture

  • 1988 Best Gospel Performance, Male for I 2(Eye)

  • 1989 Best Gospel Vocal Performance, Male for "Holy, Holy, Holy"

  • 1990 Best Pop Gospel Album for Go West Young Man

  • 1998 Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album for Live the Life

  • 2000 Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album for This Is Your Time

  • 2002 Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album for 'Worship

  • 2006 Best Christian Pop Album for Healing Rain


  • ;Dove Awards
  • 1985 Songwriter of the Year

  • 1987 Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year for The Big Picture (producer, artist)

  • 1988 Long Form Music Video of the Year for "The Big Picture Tour Video" (artist)

  • 1990 Short Form Music Video of the Year for "I Miss the Way" (artist)

  • 1991 Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year for Go West Young Man (producer, artist)

  • 1992 Choral Collection of the Year for The Michael W. Smith Collection (artist)

  • 1992 Musical Album of the Year for Change Your World (artist)

  • 1992 Song of the Year for "Place in this World" (artist)

  • 24th GMA Dove Awards|1993 Praise and Worship Album of the Year for Songs from the Loft (artist)

  • 24th GMA Dove Awards|1993 Recorded Music Packaging of the Year for The Wonder Years (artist)

  • 25th GMA Dove Awards|1994 Musical Album of the Year for Living on the Edge (artist)

  • 1996 Songwriter of the Year

  • 1996 Special Event Album of the Year for My Utmost For His Highest (artist)

  • 1997 Special Event Album of the Year for Tribute: The Songs of Andre Crouch (artist)

  • 1998 Children�s Music Album of the Year for Sing Me to Sleep Daddy (artist)

  • 1998 Special Event Album of the Year for God With Us: A Celebration of Christmas Carols and Classics (artist)

  • 1999 Artist of the Year

  • 1999 Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year for Live the Life (producer, artist)

  • 1999 Producer of the Year

  • 1999 Special Event Album of the Year for Exodus (artist)

  • 2000 Short Form Music Video of the Year for "This is Your Time" (artist)

  • 2000 Song of the Year for "This Is Your Time" (artist)

  • 2000 Songwriter of the Year

  • 2001 Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year for This is Your Time (producer, artist)

  • 2001 Youth/Children�s Musical Album of the Year for Friends 4 Ever (artist)

  • 2002 Album of the Year for Worship (producer, artist)

  • 2002 Artist of the Year

  • 2002 Inspirational Recorded Song of the Year for "Above All" (artist)

  • 2002 Instrumental Album of the Year for Freedom (producer, artist)

  • 2003 Album of the Year for Worship Again (producer, artist)

  • 2003 Artist of the Year

  • 2003 Long Form Music Video of the Year for Worship DVD/Video (producer, artist)

  • 2003 Male Vocalist of the Year

  • 2008 Christmas Album of the Year

  • 2009 Inspirational Recorded Song of the Year for "A New Hallelujah"

  • 2009 Praise & Worship Album of the Year for A New Hallelujah


  • References


    reflist

    External links


  • Official website| http://www.michaelwsmith.com

  • Allmusic|class=artist|id=p2400

  • http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0809363 Michael W. Smith at the Internet Movie Database

  • http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0602/10/lkl.01.html Transcript of February 10, 2006 interview with Larry King

  • http://www.yamaha.com/artists/michaelw.smith.html Yamaha Corporation artist biography

  • Michael W. SmithCompassionart

    Persondata|NAME= Smith, Michael W.
    |ALTERNATIVE NAMES= Smith, Michael Whitaker
    |SHORT DESCRIPTION= Musician , Songwriter , Composer
    |DATE OF BIRTH= October 7, 1957 age 49
    |PLACE OF BIRTH= Kenova, West Virginia|Kenova , West Virginia
    |DATE OF DEATH=
    |PLACE OF DEATH=
    DEFAULTSORT:Smith, Michael W. Category:1957 births
    Category:Living people
    Category:American film actors
    Category:Songwriters from West Virginia
    Category:Songwriters from Tennessee
    Category:American pianists
    Category:American composers
    Category:American guitarists
    Category:Christian religion-related songwriters
    Category:People from Huntington, West Virginia
    Category:People from Nashville, Tennessee
    Category:American Christians
    Category:Grammy Award winners
    Category:Tennessee Republicans
    Category:West Virginia Republicans
    Category:Contemporary worship music
    Category:American performers of Christian music
    Category:Musicians from West Virginia
    Category:Musicians from Tennessee
    Category:Marshall University alumni
    Category:Reunion Records artists

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    de:Michael W. Smith
    es:Michael W. Smith
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    lv:Maikls V. Smits
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    Copyright Citations

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    Michael W. Smith Photo by: gospelmusicbites.com



          

     
       
     
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