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Michael W. Smith has become one of the most enduringly popular artists
on the Christian Contemporary Music front and is also finding considerable
success as a
mainstream artist. He was born in Kenova, West Virginia, the son of an oil
refinery worker and a caterer. He became a devout Christian at age ten and spent
his teens hanging around with a solid support group of fellow believers who
frequently gathered to play and make music. After high school, that support
group split up, and
Michael W. Smith turned to alcohol, drugs and wild times. He scraped through a couple
semesters of college and began honing his songwriting skills. In 1978, a
songwriting company expressed interest in his songwriting, and he moved to
Nashville, where he played with local bands, including Rose. He was still
heavily into drugs and continued using until October 1979, when he suffered a
sort of emotional mental breakdown that culminated in recommitting to Christ.
The next day he auditioned for a new CCM group, Higher Ground, as a keyboardist.
While touring with them,
Michael W. Smith cleaned up his act.
In 1981, he signed to Meadowgreen Music as a staff writer, where over the
next few years he provided gospel hits for such artists as
Bill Gaither and
Amy Grant. He began touring as a keyboardist with
Grant in 1982 and the following year, after releasing his first album, The
Michael W. Smith Project, became her opening act. His debut album garnered him a
Grammy nomination for Best Gospel Performance.
Michael W. Smith became a headliner following the release of his second album, Michael
W. Smith 2. Afterwards, he changed musical directions and began recording more
rock-oriented music in order to reach a younger audience. As a result, some of
his songs became more secular and began breaking through to mainstream
audiences. His first real shot at mainstream music came in 1991 when his label,
Reunion Records, allowed Geffen Records to distribute his albums. They chose a
two-pronged promo campaign with ads designed to appeal to both CCM audiences and
to the mainstream pop audience. This has caused some controversy among his more
religious fans, who feared that
Michael W. Smith was selling out to the more lucrative secular market, but
Michael W. Smith saw it differently, claiming that he is really only trying to get his
message out to a wider audience and to help young people. Over his career,
Michael W. Smith has won both Dove and Grammy Awards, has topped Billboard charts and
has been hailed by Keyboard magazine as one of the top keyboardists in rock.
Continuing his musical reign into the new millennium,
Michael W. Smith had sold more than seven million records and had 25 number
one hits. And
Michael W. Smith's undying commitment to music came with his first instrumental record
entitled Freedom. This album, which was recorded in Ireland, featured backing
Irish Film Orchestra Limited and contained
Michael W. Smith's personal songs composed with his classic piano arrangements. The
live albums Worship and Worship Again arrived in 2001and 2002. 2004 saw the
release of Healing Rain,
Michael W. Smith's first recording of new studio material since the turn of the
millennium. ~ Sandra Brennan, All Music Guide
Contact Grabow for more information or to book
Michael W. Smith for your next corporate or private event.
Serving meeting planners since 1983
Grabow Entertainment has a proven history since 1983 in the
corporate and private entertainment industry, and acts as an entertainment contractor and producer of private and corporate events. We do not claim or represent ourselves as the exclusive agent for Michael W. Smith or Michael W. Smith management or any artist included on our roster. We concentrate our efforts on serious inquiries of talent buyers. We are unable to answer Michael W. Smith fan club information requests, fan email, public relations contacts or questions , or personal requests for Michael W. Smith contact information for artists or speakers.