Who is Taya Smith?
Born on May 10, 1989 in Wales, UK, Taya Smith is a singer, best known for her work as a member of the Australian worship band, Hillsong United. She is responsible for the hit song “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)”, which reached the top of the US Billboard Christian Songs and eventually won several awards.
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The Wealth of Taya Smith
As of mid-2020, Taya Smith’s net worth is estimated to be over $1 million, earned through a successful career in gospel music. She receives a consistent salary from her work at Hillsong United – the success of the band has also led to many financial rewards coming their way.
Early life and the beginning of a career
Growing up in Wales, Taya pursued various interests at a young age and even considered a career in acting. Before her career as a singer, she was a part of “The Wally Show Podcast” with Garry Wallace, Betty Lou and Rebekah Eaker. The podcast was intended to be a talk show, with comedians getting together, playing games and talking about different aspects of life.
She and her family later moved to Australia, where she joined their local church and eventually became a youth group leader. At the time, she also sang for her church and had been doing so for some time.
She eventually ended up with the group Hillsong, one of the most recognizable praise and worship bands around the world. Eventually, she and her family attended that church and she also began to gain recognition for her vocal talents.
Hillsong United takes its name from: Hillsong Church, a Christian megachurch in the country whose history dates back to 1983, when it was founded by Brian Houston. Over the years, the church gained international recognition for its worship music, with many of its musicians composing and releasing songs. Hillsong United is the second band to emerge from the church, the first being Hillsong Worship and the last being Hillsong Young & Free.
While each band releases music independently, they are known to cross over from time to time, especially during worship services where most of the band members mix.
Hillsong United was founded sometime in 1998 by a close group of friends from the youth ministry at Hillsong Church. The group had a habit of rearranging popular songs and composing original songs; the two later separated into two groups, Powerhouse and Wildlife. The latter consisted of a younger target audience, while Powerhouse had band members over the age of 18. In 2003, the band was handed over to Joel Houston, who would go on to help form Hillsong United’s current lineup, which included Smith.
Initially there were numerous members of the band and after a strong summer camp performance the group started calling themselves United.
The Success of Hillsong United
After Hillsong Worship singer Darlene Zschech heard some of the band’s compositions, she suggested they record an album. This led to the creation of their debut extended play (EP) “One”. They eventually worked on their debut album “Everyday”, and both releases gained national attention, with both achieving gold status. As the years went on, the band was rebranded as: Hillsong Unitedand began to release albums annually.
Many of their members would become involved in Hillsong Church’s services, but many would later step down to pursue other interests or settle down.
United’s current lineup includes Taya, Dylan Thomas, Joel Houston, Jad Gillies, Matt Crocker, Jonathon Douglass, Simon Kobler, Peter James, Adam Crosariol and Benjamin Tennikof. In 2007, the band gained international recognition after the release of their first full-length studio album – “All of the Above” – leading to a world tour to perform. They became an international hit and their success lasted for many years.
Their current logo debuted during the album “To the Ends of the Earth”, and was designed by Munns.
Oceans and Recent Efforts
In 2013, Taya sang the lead for the Hillsong United single “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)”, the final track from their third studio album “Zion”. The song was highly successful, reaching the top position of the Billboard Hot Christian Songs chart, and Remained there for 61 non-consecutive weeks, between 2014 and 2016, while remaining in the top 10 through 2017. It has been ranked as the best Christian song of the decade, was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of American (RIAA), and won Song of the Year at the Dove Awards.
The song not only increased the status of the band further, but also brought a lot of popularity in Taya’s way.
During their run as a band, they have won five Dove Awards and won Billboard Music Awards’ Top Christian Artist. They have also been nominated several times for the American Music Awards. In 2018 they released another hit “Me too (100 billionX)”, this time led by Benjamin Hastings. The song is on their album “Wonder”, their latest studio album. Since then they have released live albums and other extended plays.
Taya was previously in a relationship with Hillsong Young and Free singer and songwriter Aodhan King, but they eventually broke up. Later, she began a relationship with Ben Gee, whom she met at church. After dating for a while, she realized he was the one while they were traveling to the beach, and they got engaged in 2017, and married the following year in a private ceremony led by one of her bandmates. Some of their wedding photos were posted online and she describes it as one of her greatest experiences, even being able to get her dream wedding dress.