Michael Sweet

Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist and Founding Member of Stryper Embodies Role as Hardest Working Musician in the Business

On any given day, veteran musical artist Michael Sweet can be found practicing guitar riffs, laying down vocals, writing a song or giving an interview on a podcast. And that’s just to name a few of his diverse and demanding priorities.

“I’m fortunate to have so many opportunities with all sorts of projects on the table,” says the multifaceted singer/songwriter/guitarist from his Massachusetts home. “Sometimes I get overwhelmed, but as an overachiever I tend to work really well under pressure.”

It would be extremely tough to find a more hardworking and accomplished musician in the business than Sweet. Need evidence?

For starters, he continues to helm Grammy-nominated Christian hard-rock outfit Stryper, which he cofounded more than 35 years ago. With more than 10 million career album sales worldwide, the venerable band ascended to prominence in the 1980s with Billboard Top 40-charting singles like “Calling on You,” “Honestly” and “Always There for You.”

Stryper’s 1986 multiplatinum release To Hell with the Devil has been lauded by critics and fans alike as among the best Christian rock albums of all time. The group also made history when it scored two songs simultaneously in MTV’s Top 10 with enduringly popular videos “Honestly” and “Free.”

Along the way, Sweet also managed to churn out first-rate solo albums like his self-titled release in 1994, which yielded five No. 1 singles, Truth in 2000, the critically acclaimed 2015 project I’m Not Your Suicide (peaked at No. 10 in Billboard’s Hard Rock albums), and 2019’s Ten, which reached No. 4 on Billboard’s Top Christian Albums chart.

Sweet is no stranger to witnessing success all while maintaining positive spiritual themes in his prodigious catalog of work. What’s more, he consistently takes on significant side projects like a provisional stint as co-lead singer and guitarist for legendary rock band BOSTON. Never mind cooperative endeavor Sweet & Lynch with guitarist George Lynch, best known as a former original member of metal quartet Dokken, and a metal project called Sunbomb with Tracii Guns of L.A. Guns. 

“Collaborating with different people really helps pull the best out of you,” he explains. “I get bored easily, so I love to experiment and try new things. If a strong challenge comes my way, I usually take it on.”

No doubt what helped lay Sweet’s solid foundation over the years was his keenness for wide-ranging styles of music.

“When I was growing up, my dad would come home from the railroad and blast Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry,” he says, “and then he would move to Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jimi Hendrix and stuff as heavy as Black Sabbath. He loved all types of music, and that led to me listening to country, 50s rock, jazz, rock and metal.”

These varied influences have helped Sweet to continue pushing himself to ascend to new heights musically.

Whether it’s recording a magnum opus like Stryper’s Even the Devil Believes, which hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Christian Albums chart in 2020, or a solo modern worship album with Dove Award-winning producer Jeff Savage in 2021, Sweet keeps the creative fires burning brightly.

“The reason I keep singing, playing and working on music that moves people in a powerful way is because that’s what I’m passionate about doing,” he says.

Primarily known for his durable vocal prowess, Sweet is also a seasoned guitarist – a fact that   sometimes gets overlooked even though he started playing the instrument at age five. Nevertheless, the Orange County California native keeps a humble perspective.

“I’m not a shredder, but I do consider myself as a guitar player who sings,” he says. “The most important thing is how everything fits into making each song the best it can be.”

As he reflects on his longstanding music career, Sweet shares that he has deep and sincere gratitude for all the people who have supported him over the years.

“Countless people have stuck with me and by me for the long haul, and I’m truly grateful for all the loyal support,” he says.

When it comes to what he enjoys doing whenever he’s not working on music projects, it’s safe to say that Sweet is a well-grounded family man (his first wife, Kyle, died of ovarian cancer in 2009).

“I have two adult children nearby, a son and a daughter, so I enjoy spending time with them as often as possible,” he reveals. “In my downtime, my wife, Lisa, and I enjoy making meals together and also binge-watching TV shows. We have a simple life, but it’s a full and rewarding life.”

As for what the future holds, especially during these uncertain times, Sweet encourages everyone to be hopeful and prayerful.

“Whatever you believe, I challenge you to bow your head, look up to heaven and say a prayer to God,” he says. “Pray longer, pray harder and pray more often, and let’s see what happens. I guarantee it will change lives for the better.”



Brian Mayes
Nashville Publicity Group

Kevin Chiaramonte
PFA (Paul Freundlich Associates)

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