Stuart Smith was born in York, England. The son of an RAF jet fighter pilot, he was classically trained on guitar from the age of seven, and, at fourteen, his interest in rock and roll was ignited after seeing a Deep Purple concert. Moving to London in the late 70s, he toured the Continent with his band, Sidewinder, and was fortunate enough to be mentored on guitar for a time by Deep Purple virtuoso Ritchie Blackmore.
In 1983, Stuart embarked for America, initially landing on the East Coast and gigging with his new band, Mirage. Ultimately, he settled in Los Angeles in 1986. It was there that he first met Sweet founder and bass man Steve Priest and,
though discussions took place about trying to reform the band, the project never quite got off the ground. Stuart went on to form a new group, Midnight, which featured, in various incarnations, such members as Jay Schellen from Hurricane, former Rainbow vocalist Joe Lynn Turner, future Foreigner front man Kelly Hansen, and Stuart's good friend and frequent bandmate Richie Onori. After Stuart and Richie spent a brief stint in Keith Emerson's "Aliens of Extraordinary Ability," the duo returned to working with Schellen and Hansen, and, in the mid-90s, they formed the Heaven & Earth Band.
Heaven & Earth's 1999 debut album won widespread critical acclaim, including, after a subsequent 2004 re-release with bonus tracks on Onori and Smith's own "Black Star Records" label formed that same year, netting the Los Angeles All Access Music Awards' "Best Overall Album of the Year" prize, and earning Stuart the "Best Guitarist" honors two years running. A 2001 follow-up album, "Windows to the World" featured Kelly Keeling, formerly of the band Blue Murder, on vocals. In 2004, a Heaven & Earth EP entitled "A Taste of Heaven" was released on the Black Star label.
When not performing, Stuart spends his time in his hometown of Woodland Hills. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.