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Matthew West Biography

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Birth Name: Matthew Joseph West
Born: 1977/04/25
Birth Place: Downers Grove, IL, U.S.
Years Active: 1997–present
Genres: CCM, Pop, Rock, Adult Contemporary, Indie Pop

Matthew West (born Matthew Joseph West, April 25, 1977) is a Contemporary Christian musician from Nashville, Tennessee. First starting out as an independent musician in the late 1990s, he released three independent albums before signing with Universal South Records. In addition to his main solo career, West has worked as a songwriter for many Christian musicians and groups such as Point of Grace, Mandisa, and Natalie Grant, as well as mainstream country acts Rascal Flatts and Billy Ray Cyrus.

West wrote most of his first songs in the sanctuary of his father's church while he was at home during college breaks. He was a songwriter and independent musician from 1997–2002, releasing three albums: “September Sun” (1997), “Every Step of the Way” (1998), and “Sellout” (2002).

After signing with Universal South Records in August 2002, West released his first non-independent studio album, “Happy” in December 2003. The album's producers Kenny Greenberg and Jason Houser co-wrote the song “More” with West. The track was his first and most successful radio single to date, staying at #1 on R&R's Christian Adult Contemporary chart for a record-breaking nine weeks. It was the most played Christian AC song of 2004and went on to be labeled as the Christian Song of the Year by ASCAP.

With Greenberg and Houser once again as producers, West began recording for his second studio album in early 2005. “History,” co-produced by West, was released in June 2005 on Universal South Records.

In 2007 he faced vocal issues which threatened his career with two months of prescribed vocal rest. His next single “You Are Everything” was released in late 2007. He also recorded a duet, “Christmas Makes Me Cry” with American Idol finalist Mandisa which was released as a Christmas radio single in November 2007, from Mandisa's “Christmas Joy” EP.

West's album, “Something to Say,” was released in January 2008. It reached #8 on Billboard's Top Christian Albums chart, and peaked at #159 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart, making it his first Billboard 200 album. It was produced by Brown Bannister, Ed Cash, and Christopher Stevens. The first radio single released from the album was “You Are Everything.” In March 2008, the song reached #1 on R&R's Christian AC chart. “The Motions” was released as his a single, placing at #1 on R&R's Christian AC chart in April 2009. “The Motions” was Grammy-nominated for Best Gospel Song, his first Grammy Award nomination.

“The Story of Your Life” was issued in 2010. It featured the single, “My Own Little World.” The album’s content was culled from thousands of letters sent by fans to West which he took to a secluded cabin where he composed the album’s tracks.