Kenova native Michael W. Smith honored in a three-hour concert Tuesday night in Nashville
NASHVILLE, TENN. - 35 Years Of Friends: Celebrating The Music Of Michael W. Smith was packed with more than three hours of performances from singers including: Amy Grant, Wynonna, Randy Travis with Steven Curtis Chapman, Jordin Sparks with Jordan Smith, Rascal Flatts, The Backstreet Boys’ Brian Littrell, Charlie Daniels, the Gatlin Brothers, Vince Gill with Wayne Kirkpatrick, Matthew West, Avalon, The Oak Ridge Boys, CeCe Winans, Francesca Battistelli, Sandi Patty with Natalie Grant, Ricky Skaggs with the Isaacs, Jason Crabb, Lee Greenwood, Mark Lowry, Jim Brickman, T. Graham Brown and more.Before the show started, Smith, a Kenova native, spoke of how he had been kept in the dark about most of the event so he was looking forward to the surprises throughout the night, seeing his songs performed and the rendition that the artists were going to take on them. He stated that “the beauty of the night is how it has brought so many of us together.”Kathie Lee Gifford kicked off the night bringing Smith and his wife Deborah out to greet the crowd before they took their seats on stage. Smith didn’t stay seated long as he joined several artists throughout the night on his iconic songs and even some of theirs.Highlights throughout the night included:• Randy Travis walking out on stage with his wife Mary Travis as his version of Smith’s “Above All” played. An emotional Smith stood as Travis made his way to him before embracing• After performing “How Great Thou Art” Charlie Daniels brought out his fiddle for “Devil Went Down to Georgia” while Smith accompanied him on piano• Taped messages from Smith’s dear friends: former President George W. Bush, U2’s Bono and Franklin Graham• American Idol winner Jordin Sparks joining The Voice winner Jordan Smith performing “All is Well”• Rascal Flatts putting their spin on “Pray for Me”• A visibly moved Wynonna, joining Michael Tait, Matt Maher, Avalon and CeCe Winans on “Help Is on the Way” then Smith jumping to the piano to join her for a rendition of his “Majesty”• Smith’s longtime friend and tour-mate Amy Grant inviting him to accompany her on the piano during their “Love Will Find a Way”The show closed with all the artists coming back on stage to join-in for Smith’s classic “Friends.”After playing the piano, Smith embraced the end of the triumphant night moving to the front of the stage to take a bow as his family joined him.Promoted by Outback Concerts and produced by Tony Conway of Conway Entertainment Group, music lovers experienced over 50 artists from all genres, performing a set list that included many of Smith’s 35 #1 hit singles. With over 45 Dove awards, three Grammy awards, and an American Music award, Michael W. Smith has forever enshrined his mark in the music history books. Smith garnered yet another Grammy nomination in 2018 for ‘Best Contemporary Christian Music Album’ for his worship effort, Surrounded. AWAKEN: The Surrounded Experience is Smith’s latest release (Feb. 22, 2019).“35 Years Of Friends: Celebrating The Music Of Michael W. Smith” full setlist:Phil Keaggy, Mac Powell, Phillips, Craig & Dean, Point of Grace - “Agnus Dei”Jason Crabb – “Love Crusade”Ricky Skaggs with The Isaacs – “I’d Rather Have Jesus”Zach Williams – “I’ll Stand”David Hamilton – InstrumentalDavid Hamilton, Jordin Sparks, Jordan Smith – “All is Well”Matthew West – “Go West”Charlie Daniels – “How Great Thou Art”Charlie Daniels with Michael W. Smith – “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”Jars of Clay – “I’ll Lead You Home”Rascal Flatts – “Pray for Me”Avalon with Jay DeMarcus – “I Will Be Here”Mark Lowry – “Face in This World”Gatlin Brothers with Phillips, Craig & Dean – “Shine On Us”Sandi Patty and Natalie Grant – “How Majestic”Jim Brickman – “Love of My Life”Michael W. Smith with original band – “Could He Be Messiah,” “Be Strong,” “You Need a Savior”Randy Travis and Steven Curtis Chapman – “Above All”Lee Greenwood with Wes King and sons – “There She Stands”Brian Littrell – “Place in This World”Michael W. Smith – “Secret Ambition”Oak Ridge Boys – “Draw Me Close”Nicole C. Mullen, Danny Gokey, Katinas, Matthew Ward, Calvin Nowell – “Crown Him with Many Crowns, ” “Easter Song”CeCe Winans with Point of Grace – “King of Glory”Matt Maher – “This is Your Time”Laura Story with Francesca Battistelli – “How to Say Goodbye”Russ Taff – “Healing Rain”Wayne Kirkpatrick with Vince Gill – “Never Been Unloved”Mark Hall – “I’m Waiting on You”Tait, Matt Maher, Avalon, Wynonna, CeCe Winans – “Help Is on the Way”Wynonna – “Majesty”Amy Grant with Michael W. Smith – “Love Will Find a Way,” “Thy Word”All sing including T. Graham Brown – “Friends”Smith is scheduled to perform Saturday, Dec. 14, at the historic Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center with the Huntington Symphony Orchestra as the guest artist for the HSO’s Holiday Concert.Tickets for the HSO Holiday Concert are $40 to $100. Go online at http://huntingtonsymphony.org/, stop by the HSO office at 763 3rd Ave. in Huntington or call 304-781-8343 to purchase.For more information on Smith visit www.michaelwsmith.com.