Grammy winner looks to create an impact in Sri Lanka

Grammy award winning, contemporary Christian music singer/songwriter Michael W. Smith says he hopes his music will have some kind of impact and create a revival in Sri Lanka.

Speaking to reporters at the Mount Lavinia hotel at the launch of his five nation tour which starts in Sri Lanka, Smith said that he was impressed by what he has seen in the island nation and wishes he had more time to tour the country.

Smith performs at a one-off concert in Colombo on Friday (February 22) before heading off to Dubai on Saturday.

“I believe I’m not here by mistake. I believe God is in this. This will be more than just a concert. I love performing outside of the US in countries like Sri Lanka,” he said regarding his tour to Sri Lanka.

Smith says while he started off as a pop singer he gradually shifted to Gospel music and has performed with the likes of Amy Grant and others.

The singer says he was touched by God as a 10 year old and his journey began from there but as a singer he says “the best is yet to come”.

Smith is a three-time Grammy Award winner and has earned 40 Dove Awards. Over the course of his career, he sold more than 13 million albums and recorded 29 No. 1 Hit songs, fourteen gold albums, and five platinum albums.

He is also an American Music Award recipient and was also named one of People magazine’s “Most Beautiful People”.Smith in Sri Lanka

Probably one of the most controversial incidents involving Smith’s career was last year when a resident in Utah filed a case against Smith.

According to reports Smith was scheduled to perform at the Draper Amphitheater of Draper, Utah, on July 24, 2012. However, a Utah resident, Todd Ouzts, filed a complaint on July 16, 2012 saying that a concert show that is “conflated with prayer and worship” should remain in church or private property, not the “public’s backyard.”

He also threatened legal action if the city moved forward with the event titled “Wonder, Worship and Glory.”

The city council initially decided at a meeting on July 17, 2012 that they were going to cancel the concert because they didn’t want to risk a lawsuit, but a day later they decided to hold the show as planned after all.

The decision followed a criticism from a Utah evangelical group that equated cancelling the concert to an assault on religious liberty.

The Mayor of Draper and several city council members were present at the event and were recognized for their support. (Colombo Gazette)

Report by Easwaran Rutnam