USA Today caught up with Michael to talk about A Million Lights and the inspiration behind his new recording. Read the story and watch the stellar, sci-fi inspired official video for the album's title track here.
Michael has been releasing new music regularly and performing around the world to sold-out crowds for the last 30+ years. During his storied career, he's written 32 No. 1 singles, been honored with three Grammy Awards and 45 Dove Awards, was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and has sold more than 15 million albums.
He's also given back to the global community. Michael has raised funds to battle AIDS in Africa alongside longtime friend Bono; started Rocketown, a safe haven for young people in Tennessee to meet and find hope; and has helped more than 70,000 children through Compassion International.
A Million Lights was fueled by the divisive national sentiment of 2017 and the mean-spirited banter on social media. "About half the album was written in response to where we are as a nation," says Michael. "In the age of social media, people have forgotten how to talk with one another, to be civil."
Eager to experiment with new sounds, Michael enlisted multi-platinum producer and songwriter Bryan Todd (Miley Cyrus and Rascal Flatts) and songsmith Kyle Lee to help flesh out his vision for the new songs. "I called a bunch of people I'd never written with because I wanted to push myself and experiment."
The result is a beautiful collection of sweeping, epic new songs that sees Michael exploring new ground with music created to enlighten, mesmerize and touch the soul of listeners.
"Until the world ends, music is the most powerful language there is. It can transform your life on every level, not just the spiritual. It can help people reconnect with why they're here. That's what I'm doing with A Million Lights."
The first single and title track of the album is now available on all digital platforms, including iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon.com and YouTube, and can be heard on major Spotify playlists like "Top Christian," "Ultimate Indie," "Dance Around The House" and many more.
2017 Christmas Tour:
Sat. Nov. 11 Omaha, NE CenturyLink Center
Mon. Nov. 13 Denver, CO Bellco Theatre
Tue. Nov. 14 Orem, UT UCCU Center
Wed. Nov. 15 Nampa, ID Idaho Center
Thu. Nov. 16 Kennewick, WA Toyota Center
Fri. Nov. 17 Abbotsford, BC Abbotsford Entertainment and Sport Center
Sat. Nov. 18 Everett, WA Xfinity Arena at Everett
Sun. Nov. 19 Portland, OR Moda Center
Sat. Nov. 25 Duluth, GA Infinite Energy Center
Sun. Nov. 26 Tampa, FL Amalie Arena
Thu. Nov. 30 Oklahoma City, OK Crossings Community Church **
Fri. Dec. 1 Tulsa, OK BOK Center
Sat. Dec. 2 Grand Prairie, TX Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie
Sun. Dec. 3 Sugar Land, TX Smart Financial Center
Tues. Dec. 5 Greensboro, NC Westover Church **
Fri. Dec. 8 Kansas City, MO Sprint Center
Sat. Dec. 9 Madison, WI Alliant Energy Center
Sun. Dec. 10 Grand Rapids, MI Van Andel Arena
Thu. Dec. 14 Van Wert, OH Niswonger Performing Arts Center **
Fri. Dec. 15 Columbus, OH Nationwide Arena
Sat. Dec. 16 Fairfax, VA Eaglebank Arena
Sun. Dec. 17 Hershey, PA GIANT Center
* All dates and venues are subject to change without notice
** Amy Grant will not appear on these events