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50-plus artists join forces to honor Michael W. Smith at Bridgestone Arena

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Wed, May 1st 2019 05:35 pm
Image courtesy of 2911 Media
Image courtesy of 2911 Media

“35 Years Of Friends: Celebrating The Music Of Michael W. Smith” was packed with over 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 and T. Graham Brown on Tuesday.

Before the show started, Smith 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 the artists were going to take on them. He said, “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 tourmate 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 more than 50 artists from all genres, performing a setlist that included many of Smith’s 35 No. 1 hit singles.

With over 45 Dove awards, three Grammy awards, and an American Music award, Smith has enshrined his mark in the music history books. He garnered yet another Grammy nomination in 2018 for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album for his worship effort, “Surrounded.” “AWAKEN: The Surrounded Experience,” Smith's latest release, debuted in February.

For more information, visit www.michaelwsmith.com.

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