(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) April 24, 2008 – With the top awards in gospel/Christian music being handed out at Wednesday’s 39th annual GMA Dove Awards, multi-platinum and GRAMMY-winning artist Michael W. Smith was one of the night’s most recognized artists. Heading into the night with 40 Dove Awards over the span of his still-burgeoning 25-year career, Smith’s double Dove win brings his tally to 42.
In addition to receiving two Dove statues, Smith was honored during a musical segment of the nationally-televised program featuring longtime friend Amy Grant and a trio of recent American Idol alum, including Phil Stacey, Mandisa, and Chris Sligh. Each of the young, rising stars spoke about the influence of Smith and his music in their lives and then performed one of their favorite songs from his catalog.
Smith commented, “I really enjoyed the time on stage with Amy, Phil, Chris and Mandisa. Hearing them sing some of my songs was a tremendous honor. To think that I’ve done this for 25 years almost doesn’t seem real. I honestly think I’m writing and creating more music today than I ever have. Since I’m always looking forward, it was a fun to take a moment to stop and look back.”
Smith was awarded Christmas Album of the Year for his 2007 holiday release, It’s A Wonderful Christmas, and for his contribution as an artist to the Special Event Album of the Year, Glory Revealed. Michael W. Smith’s latest non-seasonal studio recording and GRAMMY nominated, Stand, was one of the top ten best-selling projects of 2007, and included the Dove-nominated tune, “Be Lifted High.”
Many in attendance would say that Smith’s performance of his newest radio single, “So Great,” was a highlight of the evening. This tune is the first release from Compassionart, a newly-launched initiative comprised of internationally recognized songwriters Michael W. Smith, Chris Tomlin, Steven Curtis Chapman, Darlene Zschech, Matt and Beth Redman, Tim Hughes, Paul Baloche, Israel Houghton, Graham Kendrick, Andy Park, Martin Smith and Stu Garrard (Delirious?).
The group’s unprecedented goal is to collectively write 10-12 songs that will be given to the world not just to sing, but to raise money for the relief of suffering around the planet. Together these songwriters account for at least 42 million albums sold, 82 No. 1 songs, nine GRAMMY Awards, 110 Dove Awards, two Stellar Awards, two American Music Awards, and 98 current CCLI Top 500 songs sung by millions in churches around the world. One hundred percent of the proceeds derived from the songs written will go directly to charity. One half of the monies will go to the songwriter’s charity of choice, and the other 50% will go to a charitable project agreed upon by all the songwriters involved.
Over his 25-year career as a recording artist, Michael W. Smith has amassed an impressive catalog of achievements. His 20 albums have garnered multiple honors including an American Music Award, 3 GRAMMY Awards (from 13 nominations) and 42 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards. In addition, he holds 16 Gold and 5 Platinum albums, 33 No. 1 radio hits, and has been named one of People Magazine’s Most Beautiful People. Smith has also scored several film projects and written 11 books. His tours consistently rank among the best attended in the country and he has performed to capacity crowds throughout the world. Constantly giving back to the community, one of his current projects is Rocketown -- a nightclub for teens in his hometown of Nashville, Tenn. -- which serves as safe place for young people to enjoy music and for artists to be discovered. He is married to Debbie Smith and they are the proud parents of five children.
For up-to-date information on Michael W. Smith, including tour itinerary, please visit www.michaelwsmith.com or www.reunionrecords.com.
The Dove Awards were presented at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville and broadcast to a nationwide audience live on Gospel Music Channel. A complete list of winners is available at doveawards.com.
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