If ever a man feels the calling to live by the words of his own music, it is Michael English. Well known for his penetrating vocal performances, especially that of the contemporary Christian hit, "In Christ Alone," Michael has lived a life filled with many heartfelt peaks and valleys. It is the message of "In Christ Alone," and many of Michael's other songs, that are making the difference in the singer's life. Since his youth, Michael's voice has been a gift, which has blessed many people.
Becoming a Christian when he was seven years old, Michael in turn, developed an appreciation and passion for singing gospel music. His first taste of success came as part of a popular gospel group with another gospel legend, Bill Gaither. Though frequently given opportunities to perform solos with The Gaither Vocal Band, Michael consistently resisted. Never enamored with the spotlight, Michael was "more at home" singing with other people.
Yet, his talent finally won out, and at the urging of fans and record executives alike, Michael was finally persuaded to pursue a career as a solo artist. With the release of Michael English in 1992 and Hope the following year, Michael quickly became one of contemporary Christian music's most popular talents. Yet, his unprecedented rise in Christian music was short-lived when he announced to his fans and the music industry that he had strayed from his walk with God. Shame caused by unfaithfulness to God, his family and his friends, brought about the realization that he would be unable to continue doing what he loved most in life - serving as a witness to God's grace and love through music.
For the next three years, though he would not totally abandon music, Michael English would not perform gospel music. Today, Michael English looks back on what was the lowest point of his life and can state with confidence that through it all, God has been faithful. In 1994, Michael signed a record contract with Curb Records. A duet with country music superstar and longtime friend, Wynonna, appropriately titled "Healing," introduced Michael to a new audience when the song was featured in the 1994 movie, Silent Fall.
Ultimately, in September 1996, Michael released his first pop album, Freedom. The album's first single, "Your Love Amazes Me," garnered tremendous success and was recognized as the #1 Adult Contemporary song of 1996. It was during this time that moment-by-moment, day-by-day, Michael began to understand the freedom that he was singing about. Gradually, he again became involved in Christian and gospel music projects.
In 1995, as a member of the Gaither Vocal Band, he won a Dove Award for Best Southern Gospel Recorded Song of the Year for "I Bowed on My Knees." At both the 1996 and 1997 Dove Awards, his co-production for album projects by The Martins won Southern Gospel Album of the Year. He also produced albums for The Stamps, The Gaither Vocal Band, and performed as a background singer on several artists' Christian albums.
As Michael began to consider his options, the longing to again perform Christian music became stronger and stronger. In the fall of 1996, Michael was in the audience at the National Quartet Convention in Kentucky. Gospel singer and longtime friend, JD Sumner invited unsuspecting Michael English to join him on the stage where he asked Michael to forgive people's judging hearts. An emotional Michael shared his testimony and immediately followed with a powerful rendition of "I Bowed on My Knees". Certainly, God was at work.
In October of 1998, Curb Records released Gospel, produced by Michael and featuring his own band with arrangements he had sung over and over in his concerts over the past several years. In March of 1999, Bill Gaither invited Michael to appear in another Homecoming Video taping. Three videos resulted from this taping, "Good News," "Harmony in the Heartland," and "What a Time!"
Michael recorded a new album, Heaven to Earth, which was released by Curb Records in March of 2000. Premiering his album on Trinity Broadcasting Network's "Praise the Lord.," Michael gave a powerful testimony of what God had brought him through and shared his story about his addiction to painkillers and subsequent treatment and rehab. The response to his honesty and transparency was overwhelming with many stories being shared via mail, email and phone calls to TBN of others who had been addicted to painkillers and how they now have hope that they too can be free.
August 29, 2002 was a memorable day in Michael's life. He married Marcie Stambaugh, a pastor's daughter. The wedding took place in Nashville, TN with family and friends in attendance. Marcie has taken an active part in Michael's career and ministry. They welcomed their new baby girl, Isabella Grace into their lives on May of 2004. Today, Michael English's motivation is pure and simple. He will sing. He will sing to those in the church and to those who have never, nor may ever, have had the desire to step inside a church building.
His Christian faith at the core of his very being is clear, and his call to use his God-given talent as a witness to this faith, is stronger than ever.