Over a 23-year career of songwriting and performing and now through a year that's thrown many twists and turns for so many around the world, five-time GRAMMY nominee Matthew West continues to share music and encouragement with his fans while also being recognized by his peers for his astounding talents. From releasing an LP earlier this year to a live EP coming later this month, a new Christmas single out today, his weekly podcast and devotionals, and more, West has no plans to stop any time soon.
Most recently, it was announced that ASCAP named West Christian Songwriter of the Year. He was also awarded ASCAP's Christian Song of the Year for "Nobody" from Casting Crowns featuring West. This is the third time in West's career to be named ASCAP's Songwriter of the Year, his fifth for Song of the Year.
West recently posted, "I’m so blessed to be able to accept these ASCAP Awards with A.J. Pruis and the Combustion Music team. In a year where there’s been a lot of bad news, it’s fun to be able to celebrate something. Writing and collaborating with artists like Mark Hall (Casting Crowns) every day is something I’ll never get tired of doing. I love writing songs - and recognition like this is just a bonus. Thank you ASCAP!"
The winners of the ASCAP Christian Music Awards were announced virtually, and West's acceptance speech can be viewed online. West was also recently nominated for a Billboard Music Award for Top Christian Song with Casting Crowns for their song "Nobody," and for four GMA Dove Awards, which airs Friday, October 30th on TBN.
Announced earlier today, West released a new holiday single titled "The Hope of Christmas," sharing, "I felt like we could use a little Christmas right now! I find myself looking back at the Christmases of my youth, life seemed so much simpler then. There’s a line in the song that says, 'these days peace on earth is hard to find, and I need you to remind me one more time.' I guess that pretty much sums up how I’ve been feeling this year, and I have a feeling I’m not the only one.
I see a world reeling from the turmoil of a pandemic, political divides, and racial tension. I’ve always felt that my calling as a songwriter is to extract that hope even from situations where it seems all hope is lost. Writing this song helped me remember the reason why we can always have hope. Hope has a name. His name is Jesus, the Hope of Christmas." Be sure to listen to "The Hope of Christmas" audio video above.
Since 2020 has not been able to include as many live shows as would be typical for West, in lieu of in-person live events he's been hosting his own live-stream shows. His latest, "West Fall Fest," was October 16th at 7 pm Central.
Along with his continuously active schedule, West is also prepping for the October 30th release of his live EP, Live Before The World Shut Down, with the pre-order going on now. The six-song EP features songs recorded earlier this year before the global pandemic closed the live entertainment industry, including the No. 1 singles "Nobody" and "The God Who Stays."
During the COVID-19 pandemic, West hosts his weekly “Quarantine Quiet Time” from his home studio with his family and released two new songs that went viral: “Quarantine Life” and “Take Heart," while in August he launched the weekly "The Matthew West Podcast." The podcast debuted at No. 1 on the Apple Religion & Spirituality chart and continues to receive thousands of listens weekly. Recent interviews are with Cody Zeller, Korie Robertson and her daughter Sadie Robertson Huff, Max Lucado, Priscilla Shirer, Emmanuel Acho, Angie Smith, Olympian Shawn Johnson East and her husband Andrew East, to name a few.