|Born||November 26, 1945|
|Origin||Evanston, Illinois, U.S.|
|Genres||Contemporary Christian, pop, rock, R&B|
|Occupation(s)||Composer, musician, record producer|
|Instruments||Piano, organ, synthesizers|
|Associated acts||Rhythm Heritage, Stormie Omartian, 2nd Chapter of Acts|
Michael Omartian (born November 26, 1945) is an American singer-songwriter, keyboardist, and music producer. He has been a participant in numerous albums, during a career that has spanned over 38 years. As a producer, he has had No. 1 records in three consecutive decades. He is a multiple Grammy Award winner, including a Grammy for keyboardist of the year and producer of the year. He spent five years on the A&R staff of ABC/Dunhill Records, as a producer, artist and arranger. He was subsequently hired by Warner Bros. Records as a producer and A&R staff member. Michael moved from Los Angeles to Nashville in 1993, where he served on the Board of Governors of the Recording Academy and has helped to shape the curriculum for the first Master’s Degree program in the field of Music Business at Belmont University.
Michael has produced albums for several artists including Clint Black, Michael Bolton, Debby Boone, Steve Camp, Peter Cetera, Christopher Cross, Joe "Bean" Esposito, Amy Grant, Benny Hester, Whitney Houston, The Imperials, The Jacksons, Cliff Richard, Rod Stewart, Donna Summer, and Trisha Yearwood. In 1985 Michael Omartian, along with Quincy Jones, co-produced the No. 1 hit "We Are the World" by a supergroup of popular musicians billed as USA for Africa.
Life and career
In the late 1960s, Omartian helped launch Campus Crusade for Christ's new music outreach group, "The New Folk." In that capacity he arranged much of the music and assisted in training the singers. He was also a founding member of the 1970s disco-funk band Rhythm Heritage, and he also played as a session musician for artists including Koinonia, Steely Dan, The Four Tops, Seals and Crofts, Al Jarreau and Loggins & Messina.
In 1980, thanks to the Christopher Cross debut album, Omartian was nominated for ten Grammy Awards, winning three.
Omartian has recorded a number of highly polished contemporary Christian music albums under his own name, including White Horse, Mainstream, Adam Again, Conversations (an instrumental album). Virtually all of his solo albums are now out-of-print. Omartian produced several Christian albums, most notably for The Imperials on the award-winning albums "Priority" and "One More Song For You" – which were produced in Omartian's basement studio on tight budgets.
In 2003, Omartian scored an audio book rendition of the biblical gospels, called "Gospels Come To Life". The audio Bible was read by fellow CCM writer/musician Michael W. Smith, based on musical ideas by Smith. The Spanish version of this audio Bible was narrated by CCM artist, Jaci Velasquez.
Toward the end of 2006 he contributed to an album with Annie Herring (of 2nd Chapter of Acts) called One on One, he plays piano as the solo instrument throughout with Herring providing vocals. One on One was his second collaboration with Herring; the first being the 1983 album Together Live, a collaborative, in-concert effort with Herring's family trio, 2nd Chapter of Acts, and Omartian's wife, Stormie. The live double-LP album was recorded in 1982 at The Church on the Way in Van Nuys, California. The album was also released on in video format.
Omartian has produced number one records in three consecutive decades (1970s, 1980s, and 1990s).
- 1974: White Horse (Myrrh Records)
- 1977: Adam Again (Myrrh)
- 1986: Conversations (instrumental) (Reunion)
- 1991: The Race (Word/Epic)
Michael and Stormie Omartian
- 1978: Seasons of the Soul (Myrrh)
- 1980: The Builder (Seymour)
- 1982: Mainstream (Sparrow)
- 1982: Omartian Odyssey (compilation) (Myrrh)
- 1983: Together Live (with 2nd Chapter of Acts) (Sparrow)
- 1974: Compliments of Garcia Jerry Garcia (Round)
- 1976: Through a Child's Eyes Annie Herring (Sparrow)
- 1995: Like Brothers Pratt & McClain (Sonrise Music)
- 1995: Contemporary Mozart (non-US release entitled Bon Appetit: Contemporary Mozart Arrangements Volume 2) (K-Tel)
- 2000: Child of the Promise: A Musical Story Celebrating The Birth of Christ Michael and Stormie Omartian (Sparrow)
- 1974: White Horse Michael Omartian
- 1975: Young Frankenstein (original soundtrack)
- 1976: I've Got a Reason The Richie Furay Band
- 1976: Streetheart Dion
- 1977: Crackin' Crackin'
- 1977: Love at First Sight Dionne Warwick
- 1978: Special Touch Crackin'
- 1978: Sweet Salvation Jim Krueger
- 1978: Roger Voudouris Roger Voudouris
- 1979: Christopher Cross Christopher Cross
- 1979: One More Song for You The Imperials
- 1979: Radio Dream Roger Voudouris
- 1981: Maxus Maxus
- 1981: Nobody Knows Me Like You Benny Hester
- 1981: Priority The Imperials
- 1981: Still Feels Good Tom Johnston
- 1983: Another Page Christopher Cross
- 1983: She Works Hard for the Money Donna Summer
- 1984: Camouflage Rod Stewart
- 1984: Cats Without Claws Donna Summer
- 1985: Choose Life Debby Boone
- 1985: Every Turn of the World Christopher Cross
- 1985: Vox Humana Kenny Loggins
- 1986: About Last Night... (original soundtrack)
- 1986: Conversations Michael Omartian
- 1986: The Karate Kid, Pt. 2 (original soundtrack)
- 1986: Passion Jennifer Rush
- 1986: Precious Moments Jermaine Jackson
- 1986: Solitude/Solitaire Peter Cetera
- 1987: Friends for Life Debby Boone
- 1988: Back of My Mind Christopher Cross
- 1988: Rock Solid The Commodores
- 1989: Bowling in Paris Stephen Bishop
- 1989: Sing (original soundtrack)
- 1990: Downtown Train Rod Stewart
- 1991: For Our Children Disney
- 1991: Heart in Motion Amy Grant
- 1991: Power of Jennifer Rush Jennifer Rush
- 1991: The Race Michael Omartian
- 1991: T.E.V.I.N. Tevin Campbell
- 1992: Countess Countess Vaughn
- 1992: Sarafina! The Sound of Freedom (original soundtrack)
- 1993: The Standard Carman
- 1993: Taking Heaven by Storm Steve Camp
- 1994: Christmas Spirit Donna Summer
- 1994: House of Love Amy Grant
- 1994: Kathy Troccoli Kathy Troccoli
- 1994: The Light Inside Gary Chapman
- 1994: Maverick (original soundtrack)
- 1994: Mercy in the Wilderness Steve Camp
- 1994: Razon de Cantar First Call
- 1994: The Ride 4Him
- 1994: Sizzlin' Sounds Collection various artists
- 1994: Slow Revival Bryan Duncan
- 1995: Come Together: America Salutes the Beatles various artists
- 1995: Field of Souls Wayne Watson
- 1995: Helen Darling Helen Darling
- 1995: One Love Jonathan Pierce
- 1996: The Birdcage (original soundtrack)
- 1996: Come on Back Billy and Sarah Gaines
- 1996: Distant Call Susan Ashton
- 1996: Life Love & Other Mysteries Point of Grace
- 1996: The Message 4Him
- 1996: Mission Accomplished: Themes for Spies various artists
- 1996: Shelter Gary Chapman
- 1996: Summer of '78 Barry Manilow
- 1996: Tribute: The Songs of Andrae Crouch various artists
- 1997: Amazing Grace, Vol. 2: A Country Salute to Gospel various artists
- 1997: Anastasia (original soundtrack)
- 1997: Let Us Pray: National Day of Prayer various artists
- 1997: The Way in a Manger: Country Christmas various artists
- 1998: Almighty God various artists
- 1998: Civil War: The Nashville Sessions various artists
- 1998: Movies Greatest Love Songs various artists
- 1998: Obvious 4Him
- 1998: Prince of Egypt (original soundtrack)
- 1998: Visions of Love Jim Brickman
- 1998: The Way Home Wayne Watson
- 1999: Christmas to Remember Amy Grant
- 1999: Fade Into Light Boz Scaggs
- 1999: In the Moon of Wintertime: Christmas with Michael Crawford
- 1999: Learning to Breathe Larry Stewart
- 1999: Love Takes Time Bryan Duncan
- 1999: Touched by an Angel: The Christmas Album [original television soundtrack]
- 2000: Brand New Dream Danny Gans
- 2000: Heart of a Champion Carman
- 2000: Hymns: A Place of Worship 4Him
- 2000: Nicol Smith Nicol Smith (Sponberg)
- 2000: Organ-Ized: All-Star Tribute to the Hammond B3 Organ various artists
- 2000: Wayne Watson Wayne Watson
- 2001: Angel Eyes (original soundtrack)
- 2001: Another Perfect World Peter Cetera
- 2001: Love Songs Michael Bolton
- 2003: Pass the Love Larnelle Harris
- 2003: Cliff at Christmas Cliff Richard
- 2003: 24 Point of Grace
- 2003: Visible 4Him
- 2004: ‘70s: From Acoustic to the Wall of Sound Dion
- 2004: Prayer That Changes Everything Stormie Omartian
- 2005: Christmas Reunion Tony Orlando & Dawn
- 2005: Duets Sandi Patty
- 2005: Something's Goin' On Cliff Richard
- 2006: Collections Kenny Loggins
- 2009: Where's Our Revolution Matt Brouwer
- 2009: Beloved Lara Landon
- 2010: Bold As Brass Cliff Richard
- 2012: Till The Sunrise Matt Brouwer
- 1973: Go Ask Alice (TV) (composer)
- 1976: Tunnel Vision (orchestrator)
- 1983: Together Live [with 2nd Chapter of Acts]
- 1985: We Are the World (arranger, keyboardist)
- 1994: Amy Grant: Building the House of Love (musician)
- 1994: Maverick (performer: "Amazing Grace")
- Grammy Awards
In one year alone, he was nominated for ten Grammy Awards, three of which he won for producing and arranging on Christopher Cross' debut album:
- 1980: Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) for "Sailing" (with Christopher Cross)
- 1980: Record of the Year for "Sailing"
- 1980: Album of the Year for Christopher Cross
- GMA Dove Awards
- 1981: Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year for One More Song for You (The Imperials)
- 1982: Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year for Priority (The Imperials)
- 1997: Instrumental Album of the Year for The Players (with Dann Huff, Tommy Sims, Tom Hemby, Terry McMillan, Chris Rodriguez, Shane Keister, Mark Douthit, Eric Darken)
- "Performers From USA For Africa's "We Are The World"". In The 80s. Retrieved 2014-01-21.
- "We Are The World by USA for Africa Songfacts". Songfacts.com. Retrieved 2014-01-21.
- Kaufman, Gil (April 22, 2009). "Kris Allen's 'She Works Hard For The Money': The Story Behind The Cover - Music, Celebrity, Artist News". MTV.com. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
- Artist Biography by Jason Ankeny (1945-11-26). "Michael Omartian | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-01-21.
- "53. Adam Again – Michael Omartian | CCM's 500 Best Albums Of All Time". Ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2014-01-21.
- "Michael Omartian". Ccmclassic.com. 1945-11-26. Retrieved 2014-01-21.
- "Michael Omartian | Yamaha Artists". Yamaha.com. 1945-11-26. Retrieved 2014-01-21.
- Herring, Buck. "One on One (Annie's newest release 2006)". Retrieved June 4, 2010.
- "2nd Chapter Of Acts And Michael And Stormie Omartian - Together Live". Discogs]. Retrieved June 4, 2010.
- "Complete album credits for the 1976 release by CCM artist, Annie Herring, entitled Through a Child's Eyes". discogs.com. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
- Ankeny, Jason. "Biography: Michael Omartian". Allmusic. Retrieved June 2, 2010.
- Michael Omartian official website
- Yamaha Corporation artist biography
- Inside Musicast With Michael Omartian - March 2007
- Yuzu Melodies - June 2012
- Michael Omartian on IMDB