When it comes to gospel music, Smokie Norful is a name we can’t ignore. The American gospel singer, pianist, and pastor is one of the most popular artists in the gospel music scene. Apart from his successful music career, Smokie Norful is also a pastor. He is best known for his music albums such as “I Need You Now” and “Nothing Without You”. The Grammy Award-winning artist is well-known for mixing contemporary gospel with hip-hop sensibilities.
Early Life of Smokie Norful
Smokie Norful was born to Reverend W. R. Norful and Teresa Nofrul on October 31, 1975, in Little Rock. Growing up, music and worship played an important role in his childhood. Drawn to the church, Smokie utilized the nurturing atmosphere and honed his musical skills as a gospel singer. Smokie is the son of an African Methodist Episcopal minister, and spent his first 14 years in Muskogee, OK. While music was his passion, Smokie decided to study history at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
Music Career and Worship
After graduating from university, Smokie decided to continue serving as an assistant pastor. He served in the Rock of Ages Baptist Church in Chicago. This is where his musical talent grabbed the attention of Joe Anne Brunson. Brunson was the leader of the Thompson Community Choir. This gave Smokie the opportunity to sing several songs for the choir’s album. “I Need You Now” was Smokie Norful’s debut album. Released in 2002, the album was a huge success.
In the following years, Smokie released his second album “Nothing Without You”. This album also won a Grammy Award in 2004 for “Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album”. This was followed by another Grammy Award in 2015 for his hit song “No Greater Love”. Being one of the most talented gospel artists, Smokie Norful has created several soulful songs throughout his music career. He also serves as a minister at the Victory Catedral Worship Center in Bolingbrook, Illinois.
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