After 29 years in the music industry and 22 albums later, the talented and well-known contemporary Christian artist Michael W. Smith returns to Shippensburg after a two year hiatus.
The singer, songwriter and pianist is visiting Shippensburg University for the second time in two years.
In April 2011, Smith came to SU and performed in Heiges Field House while on the Wonder Worship Blessings Tour.
When Smith returns to SU this year, he will be playing at the H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center. Smith will be playing at the Luhrs Center after a sold-out performance at Carnegie Hall on Jan. 26.
His career was not always playing sold-out shows though.
His humble beginnings came playing backup keyboards for a band called Higher Ground. According to michaelwsmith.com’s biography, Smith signed his first songwriting contract with the Paragon/Benson Publishing Co.
Once Smith had himself established a bit more, he was asked to play keyboards for an up-and-coming star, Amy Grant, who performed at SU in 2010. Grant’s managers started a record company to sign both Smith and another artist trying to get a start, according to Smith’s website.
In 1983, Smith released his first record, “Michael W. Smith Project.” According to michaelwsmith.com, he wrote all of the music while his wife Debbie wrote the lyrics. Not too long after the “Michael W. Smith Project,” Smith had a song off the “Go West Young Man” album hit the Top 5 in the pop charts. “My Place in this World” hit the charts in 1990 and helped Smith earn the American Music Award’s New Artist of the Year award. Almost a decade later in 1998, CCM Magazine named Smith’s hit song “Friends” the No. 1 song of all time.
One year after the award, Smith released another album, “This is Your Time.” The title track tells the story of Cassie Bernall, a victim of the Columbine High School shooting, according to an article on todayschristianmusic.com.
Smith wrote the song about Bernall after attending the national memorial service in Littleton, Colo.
The article on todayschristianmusic.com says, “Smith was drawn to the story of Cassie’s confession of faith in God moments before her death.”
According to this article Smith said in regard to the music video, “This is a story about a young lady who lost her life…Yes it was tragic. But there can be healing.”
Since “This is Your Time” Smith has released a dozen other albums including the Grammy Award winning album, “Worship Again.” Smith received two other Grammy nominations in 2006 and 2007 for “Healing Rain” and “Stand,” respectively.
Smith is 29 years into his career and is continuing to share his talents and abilities with the Shippensburg community on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 8 p.m.
There are still tickets available for the show. Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.luhrscenter.com or by calling 717–477–7469.