- Life Changing - EMI Gospel
- Life Changing.
Smokie Norful was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, the son of an African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E) minister.
By the age of two, Smokie
was picking out melodies on a toy piano, and by four he
was playing and singing in his
At the age of 10, he
was recorded for the first time as a featured artist on an album by a regional music director.
Smokie Norful's College Years:
After graduating high school, Smokie was still passionate about music, but he chose to study history at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff instead of choosing a music major.
After finishing college, he spent the next four years as a high school history teacher.
In 1998, Norful's life and career path took another turn as he
felt like he
was being called into ministry.
He moved to Chicago in order to earn a Masters of Divinity degree from Garrett Theological Seminary.
Smokie Norful's Big Break:
After getting his Masters, Norful decided to stay in Chicago as an assistant pastor at the Rock of Ages Baptist Church.
was active in several church choirs, and he
eventually caught the ear of Joe Anne Brunson, leader of the Thompson Community Choir, who asked him to sing one of his
original songs for the choir's Real album.
People from EMI Gospel heard Smokie
on Real and quickly signed him in 2002, also signing him with EMI-CMG Publishing
as a songwriter under his
own Norful Music Publishing company.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Smokie Norful Trivia:
played the host in T.D. Jakes' Follow the Star
Norful is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity
is married to wife Carla and has two sons, Tre and Ashton, as well as an adopted daughter named Ashley
hit song "I Need You Now" was written after Carla was told that she
might have cancer and wouldn't be able to have children
can also be heard on ...
Gets a Dove Awards Nomination for Traditional Gospel Album of the Year
Smokie was named Billboard Magazine's #1 Gospel Artist of 2003 and also won Stellar Awards for both Best Male Vocalist and Best New Artist in 2003.