Bebo Norman to Retire at End of 2013Singer/songwriter Bebo Norman has had a highly applauded musical career throughout his seventeen-year discography. Norman has announced that as of the end of 2013, he will officially retire from everything music. This announcement and decision comes after much prayer.
“For those closest to me, this really has been a decision that was years in the making, but after a lot of prayer and continued conversation, my wife Roshare and I made the final call back in December,” shares Bebo. “And honestly I wasn’t sure if I would be done right away, or what the exact timetable would be, but ultimately I decided that I really wanted to honor my label and publishing commitments through 2013 and tour this new record (Lights of Distant Cities) for at least a year from release just to make sure I “finish well.”
In October 2012, Bebo released his last full-length studio release, Lights of Distant Cities, on BEC Recordings to much acclaim – as with all of his releases. Media called this album a “triumph,” “beacon of hope,” “stunning masterpiece” and one of his best pieces of work.
“Everything that I had left in my heart for music, I feel like I squeezed out and emptied into writing and recording this latest project, which I love so dearly. And to have had the chance to write and record such a personal record with my close friend and longtime live collaborator, multi-instrumentalist Gabe Scott, was the perfect way to finish out my recording career.”
Pushing the fear of the unknown aside, Bebo knows he is following his heart just as he did 20 years ago when he entered into a musical career. As many may know, Bebo has often called himself an “accidental” musician as he turned away from his plans for medical school to a season of music. “The reality for me is that I don’t have any one specific calling moving forward – I feel pulled in quite a few different directions, but none of them are music-related. I don’t know that I really feel called to something else as much as I feel called away from music.”
“I’m still not even certain how I got here, how I landed on this particular course as an artist, but I do know that it wouldn’t have happened without the willingness of people all over the world to be a part of this with me. I will be forever grateful.”
To celebrate his career’s end, Bebo will be releasing his final radio single. “Sing of Your Glory” will be going for adds on April 19. He will also be touring throughout the summer and fall, anchored by a co-headlining tour “in the round” with his longtime friends and musical counterparts Andrew Peterson and Sara Groves.
Cultivating a substantial national following as a self-supported independent artist in the mid-90’s, Bebo became the poster child for Christian music’s acoustic singer-songwriter revival with his 1999 major label debut, which landed Norman on the cover of CCM—a rare honor for a new artist. The follow-up, Big Blue Sky, was voted No. 1 Christian album of 2001 by the editors at Amazon. Myself When I Am Real (2002) earned seven Dove Award nods and charted the defining hit, “Great Light of the World.” Projects Try (2004) and Between the Dreaming and the Coming True (2006) continued the steady climb. In 2007, Norman partnered with Seattle’s BEC Recordings to release his first Christmas project that garnered another Dove nomination. In 2008, he released the critically acclaimed self-titled project. In 2010, Bebo received a Dove Award for “Inspirational Recorded Song” for his song “The Only Hope” from this self-titled project. His next project, Ocean, released in 2010 and explored the theme of finding one’s real identity. Bebo resides in Franklin, Tennessee with his wife and two boys Smith and Miller.