The gospel world has lost a giant: Andraé Crouch is dead at age 72. According to Gannett News Service:
Andraé Crouch, a gospel musician who bridged the worlds of the church and mainstream music for more than 50 years, died Thursday afternoon. The 72-year-old singer, songwriter and choir director had been hospitalized since Saturday in the Los Angeles area after suffering a heart attack.
Mr. Crouch, sometimes called “the father of modern gospel music,” led the choirs that sang on such hits as Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” and Madonna’s “Like a Prayer.” As a songwriter, he penned several gospel favorites, most notably “The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power,” “My Tribute (To God Be the Glory)” and “Soon and Very Soon,” a song sung at Jackson’s public memorial service.
Crouch, a Los Angeles native, died about 4:30 p.m. at Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles, according to the Los Angeles Times.
His “Let the Church Say Amen” Celebration Tour had been postponed last month due to illness.
RELATED STORY ON ELEV8: Andraé Crouch’s 5 Greatest Performances [VIDEO]
Crouch won five Grammys, had a Gold Record for “Jesus Is the Answer,” was the Soul Gospel Artist for Billboard Magazine in 1975 and 1977 and won a Dove Award in 1978.
He is survived by his twin sister, Sandra Couch.
Reaction around the music world to Andraé Crouch’s passing was swift and mournful:
See Crouch perform a classic, live rendition of “Soon and Very Soon” in the video below.
Friday morning “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin will devote 2 segments to late gospel great. Tune in to watch it at 9 a.m. EST on TV One. Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond and Donnie McClurkin will be among those paying tribute.