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. His debut effort, Michael English, was well received, 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 he 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", garnered tremendous success and was recognized as the #1 adult contemporary song of 1996. 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 he had already started for The Stamps Quartet, The Gaither Vocal Band, and performed as a background singer on several artists' Christian albums, as well as demo work. 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". In October of 1998, Curb Records released Gospel, 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 Damarcus 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.
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, English released his autobiography, The Prodigal Comes Home, in April of 2007. Discography * 1992: Michael English * 1993: Hope * 1995: Michael English (Curb Records release) * 1996: Freedom * 1998: Gospel * 2000: Heaven to Earth * 2003: A Michael English Christmas * 2006: Michael English Greatest Hits: In Christ Alone * 2008: The Prodigal Comes Home Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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