Two decades after the original release of “Worship Forever,” multi-platinum artist Michael W. Smith debuts a reimagined version of the number one record. Completely re-recorded with a full symphony orchestra and bonus track “Sing Again,” Smith says the project is the mark of a renewed message of hope for his listeners.
The album landed in the midst of turbulent, difficult times when it released on September 11, 2001.
“The original album is very close to my heart. There is something about it being released that day that is very hard to explain but I do believe it was a healing record for our country,” Smith notes. “Somehow, it found its way all around the world and ended up being the most successful record of my career.”
For the past 35 years, Smith has released music regularly, performed in front of sold-out crowds, been given multiple GRAMMY Awards, Dove Awards, and is included in the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. But the years of artistry have taught the writer to lean into authenticity—a major component of this re-release.
“You just go with your gut, you listen to your heart and you trust it,” Smith explains. “There is great freedom with that mentality. I think the big thing is that people are looking for authenticity. They can see right through the fake, they’re looking for the real deal and I certainly hope I fall in the category of being authentic.”
“I’ve certainly had a lot of fun, being able to do it after all these years and still having the time of my life,” Smith continues, speaking to his years creating music and touring around the world. “It would be a different story if nobody bought the records anymore or no one showed up at the venues. So, saying all of that, I am a very grateful man.”
The 14-track project was recorded live in Nashville in July 2021 and also features Amy Grant, Matt Redman, and Tauren Wells. With such a collaborative attitude making its way through songs that have been speaking to listeners for the past 20 years, Smith says the album could very well reach a whole new audience of weary people who need a glimpse of hope.
“I do believe these songs have stood the test of time. I believe deep down inside my heart, that this project could be another healer for millions around the world, In the midst of all that we’ve been through in the last year and a half,” Smith emphasizes.
Debuting the same day as the record release, Trinity Broadcasting Network will be presenting a special viewing of the live performance of the record and documentary elements of its creation process.
Smith notes his biggest desire is for listeners to feel understood and accepted when they take in the songs on “Worship Forever.”
“You hope people take away so many things [from the album], but I would say if I had to pick one or two, it would be that they would know after listening that they are not alone – they are loved and God will see them through any pain, heartache or circumstances that come their way,” Smith says.