Michael Sweet performing with Boston live on June 13, 2008 in Hinckley, MN
|Birth name||Michael Sweet|
|Born||July 4, 1963|
|Genres||Christian rock, classic rock, hard rock, heavy metal, Christian metal, glam metal|
|Occupations||Musician, Singer-songwriter, Producer|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, piano, drums, bass guitar, harmonica|
|Associated acts||Stryper, Boston|
Michael Sweet (born 4 July 1963) is a singer from Whittier, California, United States. Sweet is best known as co-founder, writer, lead guitarist, lead vocalist and front man of the Christian rock band Stryper. He was also co-lead vocalist and guitarist for Boston from 2007-2011.
He began his musical career at age five playing guitar, and at age 12 he began to sing professionally. Sweet is known for his four octave range and his accomplished abilities on the guitar as well. Sweet also learned to play the drums, piano and bass guitar. His interest in Christianity began when he attended church during his childhood.
In the early 1980s, Sweet and his brother started a band called Roxx Regime and played in small venues. They were a trio for a period of time with Sweet being the only guitar player in the band. This band would later become Stryper. The band challenged the stereotype of heavy metal being satanic and took Christian rock into mainstream.
With the band, Sweet was not only the lead vocalist and lead guitarist, but Sweet also wrote most all of the music for the band as well as co-produced and arranged the music as well. Sweet, along with Stryper, recorded five successful studio albums that reached gold and multi platinum status (over 10 million sales to date) that won him many awards and worldwide fame. However, in the early 1990s, popular rock music was facing shifts in styles and the band's reputation declined.
After nine years as the lead singer/lead guitarist of Stryper, Sweet left the band in 1992 in order to pursue a solo career. He first released a demo album titled Unstryped, which featured several songs allegedly intended for the band. Sweet later included some of these on his first full-length album.
His self-titled debut album was released in 1994 and sold over 250,000 copies and spawned five #1 singles. He followed it with a slightly softer album titled Real in 1996 earning him a Dove Award nomination and three #1 singles. Soon after the release of Real, Michael left Benson Records, with whom he had released those two albums.
During this time, Sweet and his wife Kyle moved to Massachusetts, where Sweet worked at his father-in-law's campground/cranberry business, Maple Park. In 1998, he released an independent demo album titled Truth which received critical acclaim. He was signed to Restless Records and re-released the album in 2000 with a new song-list and new artwork (see Truth). Reviews have stated that Truth is Sweet's best work to date!
On August 19, 2007, Sweet was asked by Boston's Tom Scholz to be one of the lead singers and guitarists for Come Together: A tribute to Brad Delp at the Bank of America Pavilion in Boston, MA. Tom Scholz then asked Sweet to join Boston for the band's summer 2008 tour with Styx as the opening act.
Sweet performed lead vocals, background vocals, and guitar work for Boston. Sweet was asked to be a part of what was supposed to be Boston's last performance on 8/19/07. It was a benefit/tribute show and names such as Sammy Hagar, Mickey Thomas and Ann Wilson were among the invited guests. Tom Scholz was moved by what Sweet had written about the late Brad Delp and then heard Sweet sing and play guitar. Scholz was so impressed with Sweet's talents that he invited him to join the band and become a permanent member. Boston began booking a tour for 2008 with Styx as the opening act. Sweet handled lead vocals on roughly half of the set list. Sweet also played guitar for the entire set and handled solo work as well. "Peace of Mind" was re-recorded by Stryper and released via the iTunes Store on June 23, 2008. Scholz joined Stryper on their rendition of the classic song and it was the first released performance that Scholz performed on outside of Boston. In August 2011, it was announced that Sweet had left Boston to focus on his priorities and contributions to Stryper.
In 1999, Sweet reunited with former Stryper bandmates Oz Fox and Tim Gaines during a concert in Puerto Rico. The concert featured Fox and Gaines's band, SinDizzy. Sweet was invited as a solo artist. The three of them got together for a set of four songs. The next year, the first Stryper Expo was held in New Jersey and the entire line-up was reunited again.
Although original bassist Tim Gaines left the group in 2005 and was replaced by Tracy Ferrie, the band has continued to work together, releasing a new album titled Reborn, produced by Sweet. However, he has continued with his solo career as well. In August 2006, he released a solo album titled Him which features traditional hymns re-written and arranged by Sweet.
Stryper released the album Murder by Pride, produced by Sweet in July 2009.
The death of Sweet's wife, Kyle, was announced on March 5, 2009, after her two-year battle with ovarian cancer. During this time Sweet released an album called Touched in honor of Kyle. It is exclusively available on his website.
In September 2009, Stryper embarked on its 25th anniversary world tour, "Rocking the Hell Out of You for 25 years" with the original members. The tour included two opening bands: a Canadian group, Manic Drive and Flight Patterns, which includes Sweet's son, Michael Sweet, Jr.
In October 2009, Sweet announced on his Web site that he is engaged to Lisa Champagne. The band announced on Facebook that they were married on January 8, 2010.
On February 15, 2011 Stryper released a new record entitled The Covering, produced by Sweet.
Sweet began work on a new solo record as well as a new book. The record will consist of songs written by Sweet and will not only feature his vocal skills but his guitar work as well. The book will be autobiographical.
- Unstryped (EP 1992)
- Michael Sweet (July 26, 1994)
- Real (October 1995)
- Truth (demo 1998)
- Truth (official release 2000)
- Him (2006)
- Touched (2007)
||This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (March 2011)|
- Mu5tard - Electra Glide
- Longday - An Explanation for My Behavior
- Mars Hill - 'Sink or Swim (2003)
- Michael W. Smith - i 2 (EYE)
- DC Talk
- Mass - Reach for the Sky
- Liberty N' Justice Welcome to the Revolution
- Liberty N' Justice 4-All: The Best of LNJ
- Sonia V. - Oh Sweet Tragedy: Anthems from the Ashes, guitar & duet
- Christa Alberts - "My Song" (2011)
- Mass - Voices in the Night (1989)
- Mars Hill - Sink or Swim (2003)
- Longday - An Explanation for My Behavior
- Mu5tard - Electra Glide
- Savannah - Forever's Come and Gone
- Stryper - Reborn
- Stryper - Murder By Pride
- Stryper - The Covering
- Ferraiuolo, Perucci (June 1994). "The Return of Michael Sweet". CCM Magazine 16 (12): 30–33. ISSN 1524-7848.
- Christensen, Brett (March/April 1997). "STRYPER: Can't Stop The Rock?". HM Magazine (64). ISSN 1066-6923. Retrieved 2007-04-30.