I Smile

Album: Hello Fear (2011)
Charted: 85

Songfacts®:

  • 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.

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