Rev. W.R. "Smokie" Norful, Jr. is an American gospel singer and pianist, best known for his 2002 album, I Need You Now and his 2004 release, Nothing Without You, which won a Grammy at the 47th Annual Grammy Awards for Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album in 2004.
Norful, a minister who is also the son of an African Methodist Episcopal Church minister, was born in Little Rock, Arkansas but grew up in Muskogee, Oklahoma, deeply involved in his father's church. He was interested in music from a very young age, reportedly picking out one-finger piano melodies from the age of two. His parents supported him with music lessons, and, unusually 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. In October 1990, he sang "My My My" at the Homecoming Coronation ceremony. He was a member of the PBHS Class of 1991. Norful graduated from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff as a History major and spent four years teaching high school. Also a member Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. In 1998 he felt "called" to the ministry, and pursued a Master of Divinity degree at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. While working toward ordination in the A.M.E. (African Methodist Episcopal) church, he took a position as assistant pastor at a church in Chicago. He currently pastors Victory Cathedral Worship Center in Romeoville, IL, which he founded on September 20, 2005.