Michael W. Smith, a three-time GRAMMY-award winner, will perform at the Memorial University Fountain Ceremony and the national anthem for Marshall’s noon game versus Middle Tennessee on Saturday, November 14, 2020.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the November 14, 1970 Marshall plane crash that took place in Smith’s hometown of Kenova, West Virginia. A chartered jet carrying most of the Marshall University football team clipped a stand of trees and crashed into a hillside just two miles from Tri-State Airport, killing everyone onboard. The story was told in the 2006 major motion picture We Are Marshall, starring Matthew McConaughey.
“I am so deeply honored to be performing at the Memorial Fountain Ceremony and have the opportunity to sing the national anthem at the game on Saturday at Marshall University to remember the victims of the plane crash on its 50th anniversary,” said Smith. “Growing up in Kenova, I remember exactly where I was that day with my father and how the community rallied together. I am blessed to be able to be a part of this weekend.”
Due to COVID-19 safety precautions, attendance at the Memorial Fountain Ceremony is by invitation only and masks and physical distancing are required. Members of the public who want to attend the ceremony are asked to do so virtually by clicking on the link at livestream.com/marshallu at 9 a.m.
Smith has been releasing new music regularly and performing around the world to sold-out crowds for the last 35+ years. During his storied career, he’s written and recorded over 36 No. 1 songs, won 45 Dove Awards, one American Music Award, was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. He has sold more than 15 million albums. More than just an outstanding songwriter and performer, Smith has given back to the global community throughout his career. He has raised funds to battle AIDS in Africa, started Rocketown, a safe haven for young people in Tennessee to meet and find hope; and has helped more than 70,000 children through Compassion International. He has also written several bestselling books, including Old Enough To Know and Friends Are Friends Forever.