UAPB Magazine to feature recording artist Smokie Norful

smokie-norfulThe fall 2015 issue of UAPB Magazine is set to debut this month featuring one of the institution’s most notable alums, two–time Grammy® award-winning recording artist Smokie Norful. He has experienced more in 40 years than most do in a lifetime, but it wasn’t until he had everything that he realized something was missing. In his story, Norful shares anecdotes from his time at UAPB and life-changing experiences that cultivated him into becoming the man he is today.

Norful catapulted to the top of the gospel music scene over a decade ago. Since then, he has accomplished one feat after another.  The world-renowned vocalist, Pastor, educator and visionary now brings his music and ministry efforts towards global humanitarianism.

As an internationally known musician, composer, and singer, Norful’s 2002 debut I Need You Now propelled him to worldwide recognition. Since that time, he has found commercial success with three Number 1 Billboard Albums (I Need You Now, Nothing Without You, Smokie Norful LIVE) and over 2 million albums sold worldwide.  Norful is a multiple RIAA certified platinum-selling artist and was named Billboard’s “Gospel Artist of the Year” in 2003 and 2004.  He is also a multiple Stellar, Dove awards winner, has earned many Grammy®, Soul Train, and NAACP Image award nominations.  Norful received his first Grammy Award in 2005 for Contemporary Soul Gospel Album of the Year for his chart topping CD Nothing Without You.  In 2015, Norful received his second Grammy Award for Best Song/Performance of the Year for No Greater Love.  

Norful has also contributed to five platinum-selling compilations and has written songs for several major Gospel recording artists. His notable performances include appearances on The Trumpet Awards, Save Africa’s Children Event in Soweto, the BET Awards, the Stellar Awards, Soul Train, hosting and performing on the Dove Awards, the Parade of Stars, the Essence Music Festival, the New Orleans Jazz Festival and numerous other festivals, events, concert halls, and tours.  He has starred on the Hopeville Tour alongside Kirk Franklin, Yolanda Adams and Donnie McClurkin and will headline the McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration tour this summer.

Norful is an educator at heart.  Having received his degree in history from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in 1995, Norful went on to teach for seven years.   He attended both Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (in Evanston, IL) and Trinity International Seminary (in Deerfield, IL) and formerly served the board of Regents for Trinity International University.

Norful launched his church, Victory Cathedral Worship Center in Bolingbrook, IL on September 20, 2005 where he serves as Senior Pastor.  Since its launch, Norful and the Victory Cathedral Church Family have experienced an extraordinary and unprecedented growth in this community.  He launched a second campus on the south side of Chicago in September 2008.  The ministry has been focused on reaching the community and encouraging its members to live a life to be remembered through volunteerism, charity and philanthropy via their “Give Yourself Away” initiative.

Norful’s proudest roles are that of a husband and father.  He and his wife Carla are proud parents of Ashley, Tre and Ashton and reside in suburban Chicago, IL.

Other Features include Patrick Sanders, Dr. Ann Williams of the Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the Nursing Program. The issue also includes a special insert profiling the most recent members of the Dorothy Magett Fiddmont New Millenium Leaders, a giving initiative that has raised more than 2 million dollars for scholarships.

Started in 2013 as PRIDE Magazine, the publication was renamed UAPB Magazine this year. Published three times per calendar year, the publication is a digest of the multifaceted aspects and accomplishments of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff with the purpose of fostering a lasting connection with its readers and furthering the advancement of the institution.

Distribution outlets for the issue include the Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce Building in downtown Pine Bluff and the UAPB Information Center located on University Drive and Reeker Street. Interested readers can also reserve a copy by visiting

The publication is provided free of charge by the Office of Communications at UAPB. For more information, please email .


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