Our top 10 Matthew West Songs list presents the best Matthew West Songs like “The Motions,” “Hello, My Name Is” “You Are Everything” and more. American contemporary Christian musician, Matthew West, started out as a college baseball hopeful, hoping to perhaps one day find a spot on his favorite baseball team, the Chicago Cubs. Born and raised in Downers Grove, Illinois on April 25, 1977, West played baseball all the way to his senior year in high school. However, instead of earning a scholarship in the sport, he received a four-year music scholarship at Millikin University in Decatur. While there, he was part of its InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. After he graduated in 1999, the path to becoming a recording artist in the genre of contemporary Christian music became his true calling.
Singing and Songwriting Success
Before becoming one of the music industry’s gifted stars with singing and songwriting talent, Matthew West’s upbringing had him write most of his first songs while at his father’s church whenever he enjoyed college breaks. He knew at that time his calling was in music, a realization that brought the man to tears. From 1997 until 2002, he wrote and performed as an independent musician where he released three albums before signing up with his first label, Universal South Records. In 2003, he released Happy, an album that would earn him a Recorded Music Packaging of the Year Dove Award and serve as his big breakthrough as a recording artist.
This was followed in 2006 by West’s second studio album with the label, History. Right behind it was a re-release of his independently recorded album, Sellout. After this, West had to contend with a medical condition that needed to give his voice rest for two months. Upon recovery, he recorded and released Something to Say. From it, two number one hit singles peaked on the US Billboard Christian Adult Contemporary charts. “You Are My Everything” and “The Motions” put Matthew West back on the map as a chart-topping star. Aside from enjoying a career as a solo artist, West also served as a songwriter for several Christian musicians, as well as mainstream country artists.
Altogether, Matthew West has seven studio albums to his credit, along with twenty-nine singles, and eight music videos. In addition to winning his first Dove award in 2005, he’s also the recipient of the 2012 Special Event Album of the Year award as one of the contributors to the album, Music Inspired by The Story. In 2018, he won Songwriter of the Year. With the most recent album, Brand New, released in 2020, as well as hit singles still reaching the charts in 2022, it’s safe to say Matthew West is far from delivering God’s Word as a world-class Christian with world-class talent.
Top 10 Matthew West Songs
#10 – What If
In 2021, “What If” became a number one single on the US Billboard Christian Airplay chart. From the album, Brand New, this song also became a number two hit on the US Billboard Christian Adult Contemporary chart, as well as a number eight hit on the US Billboard Hot Christian Songs chart. For West, “What If” cemented the fact he’s still got what it takes to bring forth top ten hits as a solo artist who is far from done as a musical messenger from God. “What If” was a song that dealt with a typical condition human beings tend to experience, perhaps more often than they should. Instead of getting plagued with a series of what-ifs, surge forward with full trust in the Lord and with no regrets. If you want an inspirational song to move forward, “What If” is it.
#9 – Forgiveness
On the US Billboard Hot Christian Songs chart and the US Billboard Christian Adult Contemporary chart, “Forgiveness” became a number two hit single in 2012. As a true story told in musical format, the story of Renee Napier forgiving a man who took her twenty-year-old daughter’s life while driving under the influence of alcohol. For West, the power to forgive even in extreme circumstances served as a testimony served as a self-reflection notice if he’d do the same thing. According to the Holy Bible, unless people can learn to forgive each other the way God forgives people for their sins, then we’re selling ourselves short as Christians. We’re also failing to follow Jesus Christ’s example of how important it is to forgive, even if the recipient doesn’t seem to deserve it.
# 8 – All In
“All In” was a single released in 2018 as the title track from West’s seventh studio album. On the US Billboard Christian Adult Contemporary chart, it became a number five hit. On the US Billboard Hot Christian Songs chart, it peaked at number twelve. In a powerful single of a Christian realizing he needs to serve God as more than just an idle standby. An idle Christian runs the risk of becoming a lukewarm Christian. In Revelation 3:16, there’s a warning about what happens to lukewarm Christians who lack the fiery spirit needed to truly represent God and His Word. It’s not about being aggressive but it is about treating the relationship with God as a personal one. This means giving all of yourself instead of just fractions.
#7 – Give This Christmas Away (featuring Amy Grant)
When pairing the incredible vocal talent of Amy Grant with Matthew West, the resulting performance level of “Give This Christmas Away” was nothing less than stellar. It came from his 2011 recording, The Heart of Christmas. It became his fourth number one hit on the US Billboard Hot Christian Songs chart. It also peaked at number one on the US Billboard Christian Adult Contemporary chart. This song was written and performed as a message, taking the history of the infamous Saint Nicholas.
He was the first Secret Santa as he used his wealth to help a father and his three daughters from what would have been a devastating fate. The spirit of Christmas giving came from this, long before it became a commercialized holiday in the modern world. There’s been an argument, even among Christians, about when the birthdate of Jesus Christ really is. However, “Give This Christmas Away” couldn’t care less about an assigned date. It cared more about being as generous as Saint Nicholas, as well as Jesus Christ before him.
#6 – Truth Be Told
“Truth Be Told” was a 2020 single that quickly became a certified gold record with the Recording Industry Association of America. From the album, Brand New, “Truth Be Told” became a number two hit on the US Billboard Christian Adult Contemporary chart, as well as a number three hit on the US Billboard Hot Christian Songs chart. In truth, no human being is truly perfect. This was the message delivered in this Matthew West classic that pointed out the obvious. It also pointed out honesty is the only cure to set things right. That honesty comes with being true to yourself, as well as to God. In the end, God knows the truth, even if perhaps you don’t really know it yourself. “Truth Be Told” remains a great soul-searching song that gets to the root of what really is the true pandemic that still plagues the world to this day.
#5 – Nobody (featuring Casting Crowns)
In 2019, Matthew West collaborated with Casting Crowns for the number one hit single on the US Billboard Christian Adult Contemporary chart, “Nobody.” On the US Billboard Hot Christian Songs chart, it peaked as high as number three. This RIAA-platinum seller came from the group’s album, Only Jesus. For humble Christian, they deem themselves as a “Nobody” while trying to carry out the Great Commission as was illustrated during the final chapter of the gospel according to Matthew in the New Testament.
The Great Commission, an unofficial title of the charge Jesus Christ gave to his disciples, asks followers to spread the truth about God’s Word and that everything written in the Holy Bible is true. This includes the truth of who Jesus Christ was and still is. Compared to the Lord, we are nobodies, but in His eyes, we are somebody for as long as we believe. That part is covered in John 3:16.
#4 – You Are Everything
After recovering from a medical condition in 2008 that threatened to destroy his recording career, Matthew West released “You Are Everything” as a single that became a number one hit on the US Billboard Christian Adult Contemporary chart and the US Billboard Hot Christian Songs chart. By the end of the year, it was the single that was played the most often on contemporary Christian radio stations. “You Are Everything” was written in early 2007 but a medical condition threatening his vocals resulted in the need for surgery and a two-month period of verbal silence.
During the recovery process, “You Are Everything” took on a whole new meaning. He realized Jesus comes first as a priority before anything else does. Doing so allows everything else to fall into place. At first, West was nervous to record a new album right after recovering from surgery. However, this changed once he noticed his vocals were delivering a cleaner and stronger performance level than they had before.
#3 – More
“Move” was the first single Matthew West released from the album, Happy. It became a number one hit on the US Billboard Christian Adult Contemporary chart in 2003. It remained there for nine weeks. “More” also became a number one hit on the US Billboard Hot Christian Songs chart. This song is one of West’s signature hits that remained in number one hit status leading into 2004. By the end of that year, it was the most played song on contemporary Christian radio stations. In true Christian form, the desire to do and be more than cater to worldly expectations serves as the very core that makes genuine Christians tick.
#2 – Hello, My Name Is
From the album, Into the Light, “Hello, My Name Is” was a 2013 hit single that became a number one hit for seventeen weeks in a row on the US Billboard Hot Christian Songs chart. It was a personal best for Matthew West as a recording artist. “Hello, My Name Is” also became a number one hit on the US Christian Songs chart and it also proceeded to earn an RIAA-certified gold record. In 2017, West published a book that was inspired by the song, challenging people to tear off false identities that deny them from achieving their full potential as human beings.
The fact of the matter is, that God already knows who you are long before a name was assigned to you. How the world defines who you are isn’t the same as how God defines you. In the end, God’s truth matters more than worldly opinions. In “Hello, My Name Is,” that fact is beautifully delivered in musical form and why it became such a major fan favorite, at least in the Christian community.
#1 – The Motions
From the album, Something to Say, “The Motions” became one of two number-one hit singles from it. Aside from topping the US Billboard Christian Adult Contemporary chart and the US Billboard Hot Christian Songs chart in 2008, it also became Mathew West’s first platinum-certified hit with the RIAA. In a song that directly confronts the dangers of becoming a lukewarm Christian, the inspiration served as the needed jolt to make the needed shift go from dull to sharp.
Much like “All In,” “The Motions” reflected how easy it was to fall into a pit of complacency that can turn even a born-again, spirit-filled Christian back into a cradle of false security. The inspiration behind the song came after West wrote a piece for CCM Magazine’s Writer’s Block section. Successful writers rely on inspiration to take something mundane and turn it into something that feels like something set on fire. That something is the Holy Spirit. Jesus himself has stated he came to set the world on fire. “The Motions” was an inspiring song when it first came out in 2008 and it’s still inspiring today.
Top 10 Matthew West Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
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