Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith the two biggest names in Contemporary Christian Music will hit the road for their “2 Friends” 20-city concert tour in early 2011 reuniting them for the first time in a non-holiday on stage performance concert in twenty-years!
Their First Concert Tour Together – “Age to Age”
Michael W. Smith began his career as a songwriter. A few years later he was approached to go on tour as a keyboardist for a young and rising star Amy Grant on her “Age to Age” tour in 1982. That was Grant’s fourth studio album, which became the first Christian album certified platinum by a solo artist ever in recording music history. The album stayed #1 on Billboard magazine Inspirational chart for an incredible 85 weeks. Amy won her first Grammy for “Best Gospel Performance, Contemporary” and also won two Dove awards, “Gospel Artist of the Year” and “Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year.” Her #1 Christian single “El Shaddai” was named “Gospel Song of the Year” and is considered her best Christian single to date as well as her signature song. Thereafter Grant was dubbed the “Queen of Christian Pop” and was on her way to becoming a superstar.
Michael becomes Amy’s Opening Act
In 1983 Michael signed on with Reunion Records founded by Amy’s managers Mike Blanton and Dan Harrell. Smith’s first album “Michael W. Smith Project” was released to which he wrote all the music and wife Deborah wrote all the lyrics. He became Grant’s opening act and went on tour with her on her next concert tour to promote her album “Straight Ahead” which she released in 1983. In Smith’s debut album his #1 Christian hit single “Friends” named the #1 song of all time by “Contemporary Christian Music Magazine” in 1998, this would also become his signature song. Smith’s was on his way to stardom as well.
So began Amy and Michael’s journey together sharing the same stage on and off for that next decade before he went off solely on his own. He was stated as saying, “I’ve always said I wouldn’t be where I am without Amy Grant.“
Reunited on concert tour after 20 years
Three decades later they both amassed accolades. Amy has twenty-four albums to date, sold 30 million units worldwide, won six Grammy awards and twenty-six Dove awards. Michael has twenty-one albums to date, won three Grammy Awards, one American Music Award and forty-four Dove awards selling 17 million units worldwide. Amy and Michael named by “People Magazine” as “50 of the Most Beautiful People.”
I personally attended Amy Grant’s “Unguarded” tour back in 1985 at the Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas, tickets sold out 10,000 seats. Michael was her opening act. The atmosphere electric, so thick you could cut it with a knife. That was the tour with her crazy spotted black & white jacket which now hangs in the Smithsonian.
For all those who remember the music from these two dynamic duos will feel a rush of nostalgia if they attend the upcoming tour. Tentative tour dates as follows:
Feb. 10 – Holland, MI —————— Central Wesleyan Church
Feb. 11 – Peoria, IL ——————– Peoria Civic Center
Feb. 12 – Chicago, IL —————— Chicago Theatre
Feb. 13 – Minneapolis, MN ———— Orpheum, Theatre
Feb. 14 – Omaha, NE —————— Holland Performing Arts Centre
Feb. 17 – North Charleston, SC —– North Charleston Performing Arts Center
Feb. 18 – Franklin, NC —————- Smokey Mountain Center for the Performing Arts
Feb. 19 – New Bern, NC ————–Temple Baptist Church
Feb. 24 – Cleveland, OH ————- Playhouse Square – State Theatre
Feb. 25 – Grove City, OH ———— Grove City Church of the Nazarene
Feb. 26 – Erie, PA ——————— Warner Theatre
Feb. 27 – Huntington, WV ———– Big Sandy Arena
March 3 – Lowell, MA —————– Lowell Memorial Auditorium
March 4 – Rochester, NY ————- Auditorium Theatre
March 6 – Lancaster, PA ————- American Music Theatre
Reflections on Reunion by Amy & Michael
Grant’s thoughts on the upcoming tour, “That first decade we toured together was really pretty amazing…We will share the stage and participate in each other’s sets. But no kidding, I will have just as much fun sitting on the side of the stage and watching him. It will be like old times.”
Smith’s thoughts on the upcoming tour, “This many years later, to get to tour together again is just awesome… the question isn’t, ‘Where do we start?’ The question is, ‘Where do we stop?’ This will be a fun night with a lot of great memories.”
While they will be performing old hits they will also plug their latest albums: Amy’s “Somewhere Down The Road” and Michael’s “Wonder.”
If you are a fan of Contemporary Christian Music then this is the tour to attend in 2011. The opportunity for Amy and Michael to share the stage together might not come again. Ticket information can be found at www.amygrant.com and www.michaelwsmith.com.
William Ruhlmann, Rovi – http://goo.gl/Ee2mI – Pandora Internet Radio
Webmaster – http://goo.gl/Jd4Dd – Amy Grant Tours News
Webmaster – http://goo.gl/7sNlb – Michael W. Smith News