Grammy Award-winning CCM artists Michael W. Smith recently opened up about his early years of battling drug abuse and how it almost cost him his life.
During an appearance on The Church Boys podcast to promote his new album, the 58 year old singer revealed that he grew up in a Christian home and embraced the Gospel at a young age: “I remember sitting with all my friends and just something happened. It was like an epiphany,” he recalled. “A lightbulb went off. Jesus really is who he said he was.”
However, the road ahead wasn’t easy. At the age of 17, Smith moved to Nashville to pursue a music career, where he entered a downward spiral of drug abuse, which lasted for nearly four years.
“I lost my way,” the “Place in this World” singer said. “Still, to this day, I can’t believe I did that for four years and got deceived and almost died a couple of times. I should have been dead.”
But despite Smith’s drug addiction and denial of the truth, God continued to pursue him. In 1979, the singer suffered a severe breakdown that forced him to cry out to God for help.
“I felt like the God of the universe just came down and laid on the floor with me,” he said. “I knew I was going to lose my life if something didn’t change. I was stuck.” Thanks to the unconditional love and prayers of his parents, Smith re-committed his life to Christ, and soon began playing as a keyboardist in the CCM band Higher Ground. “I have not been the same since then,” the singer emphasized. Over the past few decades, Smith has found success in both contemporary Christian and mainstream charts.
He won in the Grammy Awards three times, has received an American Music Award, and has been successful in the Dove Awards; winning 45 awards. He has made a total of 31 songs that have made the number one spot and has made 14 gold albums and five platinum albums.
In January, Smith released his latest album entitled Michael W. Smith Hymns II – Shine On Us. The highly-anticipated album includes beloved hymns such as “Down the River,” “I Need Thee,” “Jesus, Only Jesus,” “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus,” “I’ll Fly Away,” “His Eye Is On The Sparrow,” “I Don’t Know Why (Jesus Loves Me),” and “Shine On Us.”