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When Michael English was only 20, he had married a pretty young Christian music groupie named Lisa.
They were both ready for a divorce a few years later, but Mr. English's managers wouldn't allow it, worried that the scandal of divorce itself would ruin his career.
In the early 1990s, just as his reputation was soaring with
Michael English (born on April 12, 1962 in Kenansville, North Carolina) is a Christian singer who has been recording music since 1972. He hosts a program on TBN.
A native of Wallace, North Carolina, English performed in his family's singing group, The Singing Samaritans, from 1972 until 1980. After graduating from high school, he joined The Singing Americans.Where he shortend his name to Mike English, later going back to Michael.
At about the same time he married his first wife Lisa Bailey and they had a daughter Megan who was born in late 1984.After that, he joined a regional group, The Gospel Couriers, for about six months until he rejoined The Singing Americans.
It was then that he had his first big success in southern gospel music with the live recording of what would become his signature song, "I Bowed On My Knees (And Cried Holy)".
Although one of the Goodmans had brought him the song to sing and record while he was still there with them, the Singing Americans felt the song had not gone as far as it could while he sang with the group. This prompted English to record the track with the group, bringing the song its biggest success.
His last album with the Singing Americans, Black and White, was one of their most popular. It featured a single English was fairly well known for called "Welcome To Heaven", but success of it was possibly stalled when he left the group in 1984 to join The Gaither Vocal Band as their new lead singer, replacing Gary McSpadden.
The change of groups introduced more people to the southern gospel genre. After rising to fame as a member of the Gaither Vocal Band, Bill Gaither encouraged English to pursue a solo career. He signed his first solo recording contract with Warner Alliance in 1991 while continuing to sing lead in the Gaither Vocal Band.
ultimately winning two Dove Awards in 1992 for Male Vocalist and New Artist.
English's Christian music career abruptly came to a halt on May 6, 1994, just one week after receiving four Dove Awards, including Artist of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year.
English was dropped by his record label after he confessed to having had an extramarital affair with Marabeth Jordan, a gospel singer who sang with First Call, a group he was touring with.
The Christian music industry responded by removing all promotions, marketing, and sales of English's records, and Christian radio stations pulled English's songs off the air. He also returned his Dove Awards to the Gospel Music Association and left The Gaither Vocal Band. He and Lisa divorced shortly after.
Though Michael English would not totally abandon music, English would not perform gospel music for the three years following the scandal. In 1994, English signed a record contract with Curb Records to produce mainstream pop music.
A duet with country music superstar and longtime friend, Wynonna Judd, titled "Healing" introduced English to a new audience when the song was featured in the 1994 movie, Silent Fall.
In September 1996, English released his second pop album, Freedom. The album’s first single, "Your Love Amazes Me", peaked at number 10 on the adult contemporary chart, but could only hit number 105 on the main chart.
his co-production for album projects by The Martins won Southern Gospel Album of the Year.
He also produced albums he had already started for The Stamps Quartet, The Gaither Vocal Band, and performed as a
In August of 1996, southern gospel audiences reaccepted English after promoter/historian Charles Waller reunited English with Ed Hill, Rick Strickland, Dwayne Burke, and Milton Smith as the Singing Americans before an audience of over 4,000 gospel music fans at the Grand Ole Gospel Reunion.
In the fall of 1996, English was in the audience at the National Quartet Convention in Kentucky. Gospel singer and longtime friend, JD Sumner invited an unsuspecting English to join him on the stage where he asked English to forgive people's "judging hearts". An emotional English shared his testimony and immediately followed with a powerful rendition of "I Bowed on My Knees".
produced by English and featuring his own band with arrangements he had sung in his concerts over the past several years.
This album was co-produced by long-time friend Jay Demarcus of Rascal Flatts. Gary LeVox, the lead singer of Rascal Flatts, sang background vocals as well. In March of 1999, Bill Gaither invited English to appear in the filming of Homecoming. Three videos were released from this taping, "Good News", "Harmony in the Heartland'", and "What a Time".
In March of 2000. Michael English recorded a new album, Heaven to Earth, which was released by Curb Records. Premiering his album on Trinity Broadcasting Network’s Praise the Lord, English 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.
On August 29, 2002, English married Marcie Stambaugh, a pastor's daughter, in Nashville, Tennessee. In May of 2004, the couple welcomed a daughter, Issabella Grace (Bella), into the world.
In addition to touring, Michael English released his autobiography, The Prodigal Comes Home, in April of 2007.
"The Prodigal Comes Home" is the full version. Mr. English says early on that he is not trying to excuse his actions or sell records. It is easy to believe him, given the vivid, unsparing tone of his testimony, not to mention his unflattering portrayal of life in the Christian-music limelight.
Rather, he seems to be trying to help others navigate the thorny territory that comes with earnest religious belief and the inevitable flaws of human character. As this deeply felt memoir makes clear, the ways of God are often not the ways of man.
Now in his early 40s, Michael English has reclaimed his life, with divine help, he happily says, as well as the help of methadone and counseling. He has married (as mentioned above) a second time and has returned to Christian music. When he performs, he recounts parts of his painful, embarrassing story.
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Awesome that someone can come back and do work for the Lord! Not rated yet
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