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  • Writer's pictureJoel Caballero

Awaken: The Surrounded Experience (2019)

Updated: Feb 15

Awaken: The Surrounded Experience is a live worship album by Christian singer -songwriter Michael W. Smith, released on February 22, 2019 by Rocketown Records/The Fuel Music.

Awaken is an extension of his 2018 live album Surrounded featuring songs from that album and new worship songs and was recorded at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee on August 30, 2018. It was also recorded for video broadcasting in cooperation with TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) to view online at their website and stream on the TBN app, titled Surrounded: Live from Bridgestone Arena. Awaken would later be released as a CD/DVD combo. The live album features special guest vocalists CeCe Winans, Madelyn Berry, Vanessa Campagna, Mark Gutierrez, Calvin Nowell, Alex Seeley and Skye Reedy. Smith co-produced the album with Kyle Lee. Awaken peaked at number 13 on the Top Christian Albums, number 10 on the Top Independent Albums and number 73 on the Top Album Sales charts in Billboard magazine.

A radio version of the song "Waymaker" featuring Smith and Vanessa Campagna was released as a stand-alone single to Christian radio and also for digital release but not on the Awaken live album. Released in the fall of 2019, "Waymaker" climbed to number 1 on Billboard's Christian Airplay chart in May 2020 giving Smith his first number one on the Billboard chart and his first number one overall in over 20 years. In October 2020, the song won a Dove Award winning the top prize for Song of the Year giving to Nigerian singer, songwriter and senior worship leader Osinachi Kalu Okoro Egbu, known professionally as Sinach. Sinach is the first female Nigerian to win a Dove Award.

In addition to Smith's recording, "Waymaker" has been sung by many Christian artists in many languages. Smith's radio version of "Waymaker" as a digital single has been certified Gold by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) on May 12, 2022 for sales of half a million downloads and according to Spotify, it is Smith's second most streamed song to date with more than 29 million streams behind his Surrounded track "Surrounded (Fight My Battles)" with 46 million streams.

Track listing

1. Set a Fire (Will Reagan) -4:27

2. Reckless Love (Cory Asbury, Caleb Culver, Ran Jackson) -5:51

3. King of Glory (with CeCe Winans) (Todd Dulaney) -5:45

4. Waymaker (with Madelyn Berry and Vanessa Campagna) (Sinach) -7:18

5. Miracles (with Mark Gutierrez) (Stu G, Chris Quilala, Dustin Smith, Joshua Silverberg) -8:49

6. Do It Again (Matt Redman, Chris Brown, Mack Brock, Steven Furtick) -6:08

7. Surrounded (Fight My Battles) (Elyssa Smith) -4:41

8. Washed Away/Nothing But the Blood (Michael W. Smith, Michael Farren) -6:01

9. Great Are You Lord (with Calvin Nowell) (Jason Ingram, David Leonard, Leslie Jordan) -4:17

10. Let It Rain (with Alex Seeley) (Michael Farren) -5:01

11. Healing Rain (Michael W. Smith, Martin Smith, Matt Bronleewe) -2:52

12. Agnus Dei (with Skye Reedy) (Michael W. Smith) -4:55

13. Revelation Song (Jennie Lee Riddle) -5:12

"Waymaker" (Radio Version) single Gold certified in 2022.

Radio singles

2020 "Waymaker" with Vanessa Campagna -#1 Billboard Christian Airplay, #3 Billboard Hot Christian Songs, #2 Billboard Christian AC Aiplay

Previous release: Lullabye (2018)

Next release: Still, Vol 1 (2020)

Watch the live concert video Surrounded: Live from Bridgestone Arena here.

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