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Genre: Gospel Music
Price: Call For Fee
Availability: Generally Availability
Demographics: 35-50,50 +
American gospel singer and pianist Reverend W. R. Smokie Norful, Jr. grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As a child and young man, Norful’s focus was on a future in the ministry, more so than a future as a recording artist, but in 2002 he released the album I Need You Now, which was a surprise hit and established the reverend as a gospel recording artist.
The album was followed by Nothing Without You (2004), Life Changing (2006), how I Got Over… Songs That Carried Us (2011), and Once In a Lifetime (2012), earning Smokie Norful a 2005 Grammy Award for Contemporary Soul Gospel Album of the Year. He is also the recipient of multiple Dove Awards, an NAACP Image Award nomination, and BET gospel music nominations. Norful’s albums have reached the platinum sales level five times, and he has been recognized by Billboard magazine as the top selling gospel artist for 2003 and 2004.
Today, Smokie Norful continues to serve as pastor of the Victory Cathedral Worship Center in Bolingbrook, Illinois. Although his career as a gospel recording artist has been most successful, Smokie considers himself first and foremost a pastor and reverend, and his ministry has grown in the Chicago area to include multiple campuses. Nevertheless, Norful continues to perform and record; his most recent release is the album Forever Yours, which arrived in 2014.
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