Who is Taya Smith?
Taya Smith was born on 10 May 1989, in Wales, UK, and 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 American Billboard Christian Songs, eventually winning several awards.
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The Riches 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 with Hillsong United – the success of the band has also led to a lot of financial rewards coming their way.
Early Life and Career Beginnings
Taya grew up in Wales, and 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” which featured Garry Wallace, Betty Lou and Rebekah Eaker. The podcast was intended to be a talk program, with comedians gathering together, playing games, and talking about various aspects of life.
She and her family later moved to Australia, where she became a member of their local church, eventually becoming a youth group leader. At the time, she was also singing for her church and had been doing so for some time.
She eventually came upon the group Hillsong, which is one of the most recognizable praise and worship bands around the world. Eventually, she and her family started attending that church, and she also started to gain recognition for her vocal talents.
Hillsong United derives its name from Hillsong Church, a Christian megachurch in the country, which dates its history back in 1983, when it was established 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 be created from the church, the first being Hillsong Worship, and the latest being Hillsong Young & Free.
While each band releases music independently, they have been known to crossover from time to time, especially during worship services, where most band members mix.
Hillsong United was formed sometime in 1998 by a close group of friends within the youth ministry in Hillsong church. The group had the practice of re-arranging popular songs as well as composing original songs; the two later separated into two groups, Powerhouse and Wildlife. The latter consisted of a younger demographic, while Powerhouse had band members over 18. In 2003, the band was passed over to Joel Houston, who would then help form Hillsong United’s current line-up which includes Smith.
There were initially numerous members of the band, and after a strong summer camp performance, the group began calling themselves United.
The Success of Hillsong United
After Hillsong Worship singer Darlene Zschech heard some of the band’s compositions, she suggested that they should 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 attention nationally, with both achieving gold status. As the years progressed, the band rebranded as Hillsong United, and began releasing albums annually.
Many of their members would become involved in the services of Hillsong Church, but many band members would later step down to pursue other interests, or to settle down.
The current lineup of United consists of 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 studio album – “All of the Above” – which led to then touring around the world to perform. They became an international hit, and their success continued for many years.
Their current logo was debuted during the album “To the Ends of the Earth”, and was designed by Munns.
Oceans and Recent Endeavors
In 2013, Taya sang the lead for the Hillsong United single “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)” which was the final track in their third studio album “Zion”. The song was highly successful, reaching the top spot of the Billboard Hot Christian Songs chart, and stayed there for 61 non-consecutive weeks, between 2014 and 2016, while staying in the top 10 ‘til 2017. It is ranked as the top 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 elevated the status of the band further, but also brought a lot of popularity Taya’s way.
Throughout their run as a band, they’ve won five Dove Awards and won the Top Christian Artist given by Billboard Music Awards. They have also been nominated in the American Music Awards several times. In 2018, they released another hit song “So Will I (100 BillionX)”, this time led by Benjamin Hastings. The song is on their album “Wonder”, which is their latest studio album. Since then, they’ve 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. She later started a relationship with Ben Gee whom she met at church. After dating for a while, she realized he was the one while they were on a trip to the beach, and they became engaged in 2017, and married the following year in a private ceremony officiated by one of her bandmates. Some of the photos of their wedding were posted online, and she describes it as one of her greatest experiences, even able to get her dream dress for the wedding.