Michael W. Smith, executive director of Liberty University’s Michael W. Smith Center for Commercial Music, is continuing to build on his 35 years of music industry success with his recent No. 1 hit single “Waymaker” — a song he said carries a message that is particularly relevant today.
“There is something incredibly special and meaningful about ‘Waymaker,’ and I think it going No. 1 at this trying time speaks to the message of the song,” Smith said. “It is really resonating with people and giving them hope. I would also truly like to thank everyone who has worked so hard on this project, including Vanessa Campagna who was absolutely sensational on both the English and Italian versions.”
He will also be recording “Waymaker” in Spanish and Portuguese versions. The popular worship song marks the first time since 2004 that Smith has had a Billboard No. 1 non-holiday hit.
“We would like to give a special shout-out to Michael W. Smith and say congratulations for ‘Waymaker’ earning the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Christian Air Play Chart for the third week in a row,” School of Music Interim Dean Dr. Stephen Müller said in a congratulatory video posted to the school’s social media accounts. “We are excited to partner with Michael in the Michael W. Smith Center for Commercial Music, where he is impacting our students and connecting them with the commercial music industry.”
Michael W. Smith visited Liberty's campus last September to help launch the Michael W. Smith Center for Commercial Music.
Liberty launched the center last fall, with the goal to equip musicians for marketplace evangelism in today’s music culture, reestablish the culture for God’s glory, and become a top choice for the training and equipping of commercial music professionals. The center coincides with a major recording initiative with new and already successful artists from across the country. Serving as Liberty’s newly appointed Commercial Music Industry Liaison, former Christian recording artist and music industry practitioner Al Denson has been a key player in securing Smith and others for this unique School of Music partnership.
Smith said he desires to make the new center a priority despite his busy touring schedule. In recent weeks, he has given Liberty students encouragement through his “Pro Tips videos” on the School of Music’s social media accounts, where he shares personal advice on how to remain musically creative throughout this season of isolation as well as songwriting ideas that helped him create music that has blessed the world.
Smith is preparing for an extension of his “35 Years Of Friends” tour this fall. The decorated artist has recorded 36 No. 1 songs, earned 45 Dove Awards and three Grammy Awards, and sold more than 15 million albums.