I Smile

Album: Hello Fear (2011)
Charted: 85


  • This is the first single to be released to urban adult contemporary radio from gospel artist Kirk Franklin's 12th album, Hello Fear. "'I Smile' is a fun, urban upbeat melody I wrote," said Franklin. "It is a declarative statement that I'm not going to live my life based on how I feel. I will live my life based on God's Word."
  • This was the first Kirk Franklin single to reach the Hot 100 in six years. The previous song to do so was "Looking for You" in 2005 which peaked at #61.
  • The song features compositional aid from the S.O.S. Band's 1983 single "Tell Me If You Still Care" and also from the 1973 Little Feat song "Fool Yourself." In our 2012 interview with Kirk Franklin, he explained why he borrowed from those songs: "I just thought they would be cute ear candy, like what if I use a little sample of something. For me it's always ear candy. And I just thought it would be really cool for the bridge of the song to be this familiar R&B song that everybody remembered. A lot of times when you're communicating a message like mine - which for the most part is a question - it's sometimes easier to digest or get that message across when you use familiarity. So that's what I was trying to do."
  • This was named Contemporary Gospel Recorded Song of the Year at the 2012 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards. Franklin also won the award for Contemporary Gospel Album of the Year at the same ceremony.


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Who's Johnny, And Why Does He Show Up In So Many SongsSong Writing

For songwriters, Johnny represents the American man. He has been angry, cool, magic, a rebel and, of course, marching home.

Grunge Bands QuizMusic Quiz

If the name Citizen Dick means anything to you, there's a chance you'll get some of these right.

The PoliceFact or Fiction

Do their first three albums have French titles? Is "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" really meaningless? See if you can tell in this Fact or Fiction.

Rush: Album by Album - A Conversation With Martin PopoffSong Writing

A talk with Martin Popoff about his latest book on Rush and how he assessed the thousands of albums he reviewed.

Don FelderSongwriter Interviews

Don breaks down "Hotel California" and other songs he wrote as a member of the Eagles. Now we know where the "warm smell of colitas" came from.

Jesus Christ Superstar: Ted Neeley Tells the Inside StorySong Writing

The in-depth discussion about the making of Jesus Christ Superstar with Ted Neeley, who played Jesus in the 1973 film.