Iconic, multi-Platinum-selling, three-time GRAMMY Award-winning artist Michael W. Smith hosted an inclusive, multi-racial, multi-denominational and multi-generational gathering of 14,000 people at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN last August. The energy, passion and unity of the event was captured as it happened on AWAKEN: The Surrounded Experience releasing today (Feb. 22) from Rocketown Records and The Fuel Music. Available now at http://fanlink.to/michaelwsmith, the album features Smith along with special guest CeCe Winans and the voices of all those who attended the evening.
Billed “A Night to Pray, Worship and Be Awakened” and inspired by his GRAMMY-nominated live worship album Surrounded, Smith says in a Parade exclusive, “The night was beautiful. I remember thinking, ‘This is what Heaven will look like.’ A picture of unity, with all colors, ethnicities, denominations and ages joined together in worship. I'm still hearing reports of lives changed, commitments deepened and people empowered in a new way. We may each have different stories, skin and songs, but we all share His same Spirit.”
Sharing the story of the event earlier this week in The Stream, Michael adds in a Billboard exclusive, “…I don’t think the night really ended. Something happened to our city. I really do believe something shifted. I’ve had a lot of pastors and spiritual leaders say to me they’ve never seen a more unified front ever and they think that stemmed from what happened at Bridgestone...”
The 13-song AWAKEN includes a new recording of “Surrounded (Fight My Battles),” which will be the first radio single from the project that is energized by an arena filled with enthusiastic worshippers. The album also features “Waymaker (feat. Vanessa Campagna & Madelyn Berry)” and the GMA Dove Award-winning Song of the Year, “Reckless Love.” These songs and more first aired as part of the Trinity Broadcasting Network’s “Surrounded” special that was broadcast into 175 countries to millions of people around the world.
Taking his new music and fan favorites on tour in 2019, Smith will be featured on the annual, Compassion International-sponsored “The Roadshow Tour” launching today (Feb. 22) before joining Christian music supergroup, Newsboys United, to co-headline the “Surrounded & United: The Tour” beginning April 10.
On April 30, Smith will return to Bridgestone Arena to be honored by his peers during the “35 Years of Friends: Celebrating The Music of Michael W. Smith” event. Featuring an all-star line-up of artists leading many of Smith’s 32 No. 1 hit singles, the event includes performances by Amy Grant, Brian Littrell (Backstreet Boys), CeCe Winans, The Gatlin Brothers, Jars of Clay, Jason Crabb, Jim Brickman, Lee Greenwood, MercyMe, Natalie Grant, Newsboys, The Oak Ridge Boys, Randy Travis, Rascal Flatts, Ricky Skaggs, Russ Taff, Sandi Patty, Vince Gill, Wynonna and many more.