Biography

Richard Smallwood is an American pianist, singer, songwriter and producer. Success came early for the Atlanta native who formed his first gospel group when he was 11 made up of kids from the Washington D.C. neighborhood he grew up in.  After graduating from Howard University, where he earned degrees in vocal performance and piano, Smallwood taught music at the University of Maryland and eventually formed the Richard Smallwood Singers. The group enjoyed success into the early ’90s, releasing several hit records before Smallwood put the project to rest and began releasing albums with his choir, Vision, who made their debut in 1996 with the album Adoration: Live in Atlanta. In addition to his work with the Richard Smallwood Singers and Vision, Smallwood has had his songs recorded with world famous performers such as Whitney Houston, Destiny’s Child, Kelly Price, Gerald Levert, and Aretha Franklin to name a few. In the more than three decades since, Smallwood has recorded more than a dozen albums, earning eight Grammy nominations, four Dove Awards and six Stellar awards. His songs have been translated into Korean, German, and Hebrew and he has performed for three presidents.

"Smallwood’s music 'transcend a moment' and capture a sound of a generation that lasts for decades."

- Valerie Simpson, Singer/Songwriter

Musical Style and Genre

Richard Smallwood is a Gospel artist who arguably is the only gospel artist who has successfully blended Gospel and Classical music. Smallwood’s songs are distinctive because of the importance of the piano — not electric piano or keyboard playing, but a grand-piano style.“No matter what genre he’s playing, in his music the piano is the prominent feature,” Jaquie Webb of WHUR radio says. “That’s how you know it’s a Richard Smallwood song.”

Musical Influences

Popular Music

Musical Impact

Discography

Live In Atlanta (1996)

Rejoice (1997)

Healing – Live In Detroit (1999)

Get Ready/Healing – Live In Detroit (1999)

Persuaded – Live In D.C. (2001)

The Praise & Worship Songs Of Richard Smallwood (2003)

Journey – Live In New York (2007)

Promises (2011)

Anthology Live (2015)

Awards and Recognitions

  • 1984: Grammy Nomination, Best Soul Gospel Performance, Duo or Group – Richard Smallwood Singers: “Psalms”
  • 1988: Grammy Nomination, Best Soul Gospel Performance, Male – Richard Smallwood: “You Did It All”
  • 1990: Grammy Nomination, Best Soul Gospel Performance, Album-Richard Smallwood Singers: “Portrait’
  • 1991: Grammy Nomination, Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Performance, Album-Richard Smallwood Singers: “Testimony”
  • 1992: Stellar Award for Best Group/Duo – Contemporary – Testimony
  • 1993: Grammy Nomination, Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Performance, Album-Richard Smallwood Singers: “Live”
  • 2000: Stellar Award for Choir of the Year – Healing – Live in Detroit
  • 2000: Stellar Award for Traditional Male Vocalist of the Year – Healing – Live in Detroit
  • 2000: Stellar Award for Traditional Choir of the Year – Healing – Live in Detroit
  • 2002: Stellar Award for Traditional CD of the Year – Persuaded – Live in DC
  • 2002: Stellar Award for Traditional Choir of the Year – Persuaded – Live in DC
  • 2001: Grammy Nomination, Best Traditional Soul Gospel Performance, Album-Richard Smallwood with Vision: “Persuaded: Live in DC”
  • 2001: NAACP Image Award Nomination for Best Gospel Artist, Traditional – Persuaded: Live in DC
  • 2003: Stellar Award Nomination for Artist Of The Year – Persuaded: Live in DC; Verity
  • 2003: Stellar Award Nomination for Song Of The Year – “My Everything (Praise Waiteth)”; Verity
  • 2003: Stellar Award Nomination for Choir Of The Year – Persuade: Live in DC
  • 2003: Stellar Award Nomination for Producer Of The Year – Persuaded: Live in DC
  • 2003: Stellar Award Nomination for Male Vocalist Of The Year – Persuaded: Live in DC
  • 2003: Stellar Award Nomination for CD Of The Year – Persuaded: Live in DC
  • 2003: Stellar Award Nomination for Traditional Male Vocalist of the Year – Persuaded: Live in DC
  • 2003: Stellar Award Nomination for Music Video of the Year – Persuaded: Live in DC
  • 2006: Howard University Distinguished Achievement Award

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