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W.R. Smokie Norful, Jr. Grammy Award-Winning Gospel Recording Artist

Pastor Smokie Norful, a minister who is the son of an African Methodist Episcopal Church (A.M.E.) minister, was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. He grew up in Pine Bluff, and was deeply involved in his fathers church. He was interested in music from a very young age, reportedly picking out one-finger piano melodies at age two. His parents supported him with music lessons, and unusual for his background, allowed him to experiment with and listen to the current R&B and soul music of the day as well as gospel music. Norful attended Pine Bluff High School, where he occasionally performed in school assemblies and programs. He graduated form the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff as a History major and spent four years teaching high school. However; in 1998 he felt