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Michael W. Smith & Friends: The Spirit of Christmas Surges in Album Sales Following CMA Country Christmas Performance

by Yada MagazineDecember 12, 2014
Smith’s fourth Christmas project gains affirmation from The New York Times, iTunes, USA Today, Huffington Post, Country Weekly and more

The Spirit of Christmas one of Top 4 Billboard Holiday Albums
GRAMMY® winner Michael W. Smith knew something special had happened following his performance with Carrie Underwood on the CMA Country Christmas special. “What a moment – it made my hair stand up a little bit!” he said to PEOPLE Magazine backstage at the taping of the show in Nashville. The performance, along with a showering of media praise, led to nearly a 150% increase in album sales this week for his new Christmas project – Michael W. Smith & Friends: The Spirit of Christmas.
Smith’s live performances with Carrie Underwood and Little Big Town helped solidify a Top 4 position on the Billboard Holiday Albums chart. The Spirit of Christmas will remain there this week in the peak of Christmas shopping season amongst Michael Buble, Idina Menzel and Pentatonix. The Christmas project – which also features Vince Gill, Lady Antebellum, Martina McBride, Amy Grant, Jennifer Nettles, Bono and Michael McDonald – broke into the Top 10 Overall Albums on iTunes, helping secure a No. 16 spot on the Billboard 200 and a No. 1 spot on the Billboard Christian/Gospel Albums charts this week.
Fueling the positive momentum, media outlets have lauded affirmation on the highly collaborative project, co-produced by Smith, CMA Awards Executive Producer Robert Deaton and orchestral maestro David Hamilton.
“This lavishly arranged, guest-filled album begins as if in a world of rebroadcast TV specials and Bing Crosby movies, but eventually finds its way back to the manger.”
– USA Today
“…richly expansive sound with the help of an uncommonly diverse roster of guest stars. The Spirit of Christmas is a deeply reverent statement as well as a festive music offering.”
– iTunes
“Mr. Smith gamely attempts his best Dean Martin, backed by the London Session Orchestra, but he sounds far more at ease reuniting with an old duet partner, Amy Grant, on an original titled ‘Almost There.’”
– The New York Times
“The standout here is ‘All Is Well’ that features Smith and Carrie Underwood giving two of the strongest performances of their respective careers. Warm your spirit with this new Christmas classic.”
– The Huffington Post
The Spirit of Christmas follows the tradition of excellence established by Smith’s three previous holiday albums.”
– Country Weekly
Additionally, Smith partnered with PEOPLE Magazine for a free download of his collaboration with Little Big Town on “Silent Night.” Despite his hectic schedule in preparation for “The Spirit of Christmas Tour,” Smith was able to connect with PEOPLE Magazine, PEOPLE Country, Billboard, FOX News Radio, Hannity Radio, CMT Radio, ABC Radio, Kathie Lee & Company and more to share about The Spirit of Christmas.
Smith’s annual Christmas tour is underway and thrilling audiences in 15 markets across the U.S. and Canada. Also this month, Smith will co-headline three special events in Dallas, Minneapolis and Atlanta with longtime friend Amy Grant. For more information on “The Spirit of Christmas Tour,” sponsored by Cracker Barrel Old Country Store®, visit www.michaelwsmith.com.
About Michael W. Smith:
Michael W. Smith is an acclaimed singer, songwriter, and musician who has sold more than 15 million albums, achieved 28 No. 1 songs, earned three GRAMMY® Awards, one American Music Award, and more than 40 Dove Awards. Most recently, in honor of ASCAP’s 100th Anniversary, Smith, along with Amy Grant, was honored as “a cornerstone of Christian music,” for his groundbreaking career and significant influence on the genre. Throughout his career, the Contemporary Christian Music artist has had the opportunity to sing for several Presidents and national leaders. He actively supports the teen club Rocketown, Compassion International, and Samaritan’s Purse, the ministry headed by Franklin Graham. Michael and his wife Debbie live in Middle Tennessee, where they raised their five children. So far this year, Smith has released Hymns, his first-ever classic hymns album available exclusively at all Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® locations and CrackerBarrel.com, as well as his first studio worship album since 2008, Sovereign, which took a Top 10 spot on the Billboard 200, as well as the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Christian Albums Chart. His fourth career Christmas album, Michael W. Smith & Friends: The Spirit of Christmas, is available now. For more information, visit www.michaelwsmith.com.

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