Multi-platinum recording artists Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith are about to embark on a multi-city U.S. tour that will reunite these two iconic singer/songwriters for the first time on the road together (for a non-holiday tour) in more than two decades.
The “2 Friends” tour is slated to appear across the country beginning in early February, including the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts on Feb. 18. Undoubtedly a landmark experience for music fans, the tour showcases two of Christian music’s most recognized and beloved artists who have, together, won nine Grammy Awards and sold more than 47 million albums.
The two first toured together in 1982 on Grant’s “Age to Age Tour.” Her “Age to Age” album was exploding up the Christian music charts, thanks to hits like “El Shaddai” and “Sing Your Praise To The Lord.” Smith toured as Grant’s keyboard player and opening act, supporting his debut release, “Project,” which generated instant classics like “Great Is The Lord” and “Friends.” They toured together on and off through the rest of that decade, culminating in the record-setting “Lead Me On” tour.
They have continued to collaborate together musically over the years. “I’ve always said I wouldn’t be where I am without Amy Grant,” Smith says. “When Amy hired me to play keyboards for her, I never could have anticipated where it would take me.”
“That first decade we toured together was really pretty amazing,” Grant adds. “There’s a nostalgia element that comes with having worked with someone solidly for so long and I’m ecstatic about hitting the road with Michael again.” Both artists will perform music from their vast catalog of fan favorites, along with selections from their current chart-topping albums: Grant’s “Somewhere Down The Road” (March 2010), and Smith’s brand new project, “Wonder” (Sept. 2010).
Both Smith and Grant have had stellar careers on their own. Grant’s career spans more than 30 years, from her roots in gospel into an iconic pop star, songwriter, television personality and philanthropist. Grant has sold more than 30 million albums and won six Grammy Awards in multiple categories, beginning with the platinum selling Age to Age in 1982. She also has six #1 hits, including “Baby, Baby,” and “Every Heartbeat” and is one of only two Christian artists to be awarded a star on the legendary Walk of Fame in Hollywood.
Throughout his 28-year career as a recording artist, Smith has amassed an impressive catalog of achievements. His prior 21 albums have garnered multiple honors including an American Music Award, three Grammy Awards with 13 nominations; 44 GMA Dove Awards and 33 No. 1 radio hits. In addition, he holds 16 Gold, seven Platinum and two Double-Platinum albums for career sales approaching 17 million. Inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2009, Smith has also scored several film projects, written 11 books and has been featured by media outlets including “Hannity,” NBC’s “Today Show,” ABC’s “Good Morning America,” “NBC Nightly News,” “Larry King Live,” “FOX & Friends” and more.
To purchase tickets to any performance at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, to get more information, or to see a schedule of coming events, go to GreatMountainMusic.com or call (866)273-4615. Tickets are also available at the box office or at Dalton’s Christian Bookstore in Franklin and Waynesville, NC.