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Matthew West's tour name is a bit ironic.
The contemporary Christian artist's Brand New Tour kicked off in early February. West will perform at Crossroads Church, 1188 Park Avenue West, at 7 p.m. April 22.
He is touring to support his album, "Brand New," which was actually released in February 2020. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, West could not go on the road.
"Every city had different rules and regulations," he said. "It was impossible to do an official tour."
Joining him at Crossroads will be supporting artists CAIN and Hannah Kerr.
CAIN joins the tour after their single “Rise Up (Lazarus)” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Airplay Chart and won the 2021 K-Love Fan Award for Breakout Single.
With five albums to his credit, West is one of the biggest names in contemporary Christian music. He is known for such hits as "More," "You Are Everything" and "The Motions."
West was nominated for five Dove Awards in 2005 and was recognized as "Best Contemporary Inspirational Artist" in 2013 at the American Music Awards.
'Hello, May Name Is' topped the Billboard chart
His 2013 song "Hello, My Name Is" spent 17 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard chart.
"All of my concerts are a combination of the new music and songs people heard on the radio," West said.
He scored three No. 1 hits from "Brand New," even without a tour.
"Those songs still feel new, and I'm getting to hear an audience sing them back to me for the first time," West said.
On a typical tour, West plays everywhere from large churches, such as Crossroads, to festivals and arenas.
The son of a pastor, West grew up in the church.
"As my faith developed, I found it more difficult to separate my faith from my creative process," he said.
The Illinois native earned a music degree from Millikin University. He found his calling in 1997 while attending a Steven Curtis Chapman concert.
West cried profusely, saying Jesus was leading him to pursue a career in singing and songwriting.
Songs for Rascal Flatts, Billy Ray Cyrus, Vince Gill
He has written songs for such mainstream country artists as Rascal Flatts, Billy Ray Cyrus and Vince Gill.
"I worked behind the scenes as a songwriter before I got a contract of my own," West said.
In fact, West said he was rejected for about three years by "every label" before he received a contract.
He doesn't mind writing songs for other artists.
"Most of the time when I'm writing a song with another artist, I'm adopting a different role," West said. "I'm a facilitator. It's a totally different frame of mind.
"At the end of the day, I always believe that the song lands where it's supposed to land."
West, who also plays guitar and piano, spoke to the News Journal by phone while his dogs barked at a UPS man.
Five of Matthew West's songs have hit No. 1
"It's kind of like now I have two jobs," he said of his songwriting. "It's cool. Last year, my team celebrated with me for five No. 1s. Only one was one that I sang."
While West has enjoyed a stellar career, he also has overcome his share of adversity.
In 2002, he came close to severing a major artery in his left arm when he tried to push through a window while locked out of his house.
Five years later, West underwent vocal surgery for hemorrhaging caused by polyps.
That's all behind him now. He's ready to make up for time lost to the pandemic.
"These last couple of years have not aged well or aged us well," West said. "There's a lot of significance in that now for what we've been through."
West has branched out from music. He launched a podcast that has collected almost 2 million downloads.
He also has written a book, "The God Who Stays," which will be out in September.
"It's about the distance and separation our society had to experience," West said. "No matter how much distance there is between us, there is one who stays close to us every step."
If you go
What: Matthew West concert
When: 7 p.m. Friday, April 22
Where: Crossroads Community Church, 1188 Park Avenue West
Tickets: General admission $28. Other tickets are $70 and $100.
More information: Call 419-529-0750.
This article originally appeared on Mansfield News Journal: Mansfield church to host top contemporary Christian artist