Christian music legend Michael W. Smith on Billy Graham’s death

Mentor, counselor, hero, leader, example, and pastor — those are just a few words that have been used to describe what Billy Graham meant to Christian artist Michael W. Smith. Dubbed “the cornerstone of Christian music” by the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, Smith was deeply affected by Graham’s passing, and shared his thoughts and feelings with Al Skop on SiriusXM The Message (Ch. 63).

“You could be agnostic and not even believe in God, and love Billy Graham,” Smith said. “Billy always gave the right answer, and he was not judgmental.”

Smith also reflects on how he came to know Graham over the years, watching him age, and the effect his death had on people in what Smith calls his “biggest crusade.”

When Skop asked who would carry the torch now, Smith said there will never be another Billy Graham.

“No matter who carries the torch, we can all be connected through music,” Smith said, thinking of the future. “I think it’s remarkable that music is the most universal language in the world, and a three-and-a-half-minute song can literally change somebody’s life.” Smith then played an emotional piano rendition of his 1983 single “Friends,” from his debut album The Michael W. Smith Project, in honor of Graham.

The full interview with Smith, including performances of A Million Lights, Reckless Love, Surrounded, Friends, Great Are You Lord (Cover) can be heard on SiriusXM The Message (Ch. 63) on Monday 3/12 at 1pm ET and PT with an encore at 4 pm ET. Rebroadcasts are scheduled for Tuesday 3/13 at 9am and 9pm ET, Wednesday 3/14 at 12pm ET, Thursday 3/15 at 11am and 5pm ET, Saturday 3/17 at 3pm ET, and Sunday 3/18 at 9pm ET, or LISTEN ON DEMAND through the SiriusXM app on smartphones and other connected devices, as well as online at

You can also watch the Facebook Live of the performance and interview below.

Click here to listen online to The Message.

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