Gospel Legend Andraé Crouch Dies After A Heart Attack At The Age Of 72
| Gospel Legend Andraé Crouch Dies |
After A Heart Attack At The Age Of 72
Legendary gospelartist Andraé Crouch, who for over 50 years helped close the divide between gospel and mainstream music, died Jan. 8 at the age of 72.
|Andraé Crouch And The Disciples|
A native of San Francisco, Crouch penned his very first gospel song at the age of 14.
By 18, he formed his first group, the Church of God in Christ Singers, that featured a then-unknown Billy Preston on keyboards.
In 1965, he put together another group, Andraé Crouch & the Disciples, that landed a record deal with Christian label, Light Records.
By the early ’70s, Crouch’s music was being admired and covered by some of the biggest names in music, including Paul Simon and Elvis Presley.
He also became a sought after studio musician for artist looking to incorporate some gospel flavor in their records, counting the likes of Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, and even Beatles drummer Ringo Starr as clients.
Elvis Presley recorded Crouch's I've Got Confidence for his 1972 gospel album He Touched Me, and Paul Simon recorded his Jesus Is the Answer on 1974's Paul Simon in Concert: Live Rhymin'.
Crouch also became the go-to vocal arranger for Los Angeles recording sessions that needed a gospel sound, working not only with Jackson and Madonna but also Elton John, Quincy Jones, The Commodores, Diana Ross and Ringo Starr.
Crouch's gospel albums often featured guests from the R&B and jazz worlds, including Stevie Wonder, El DeBarge, Wilton Felder and Earth, Wind & Fire's Philip Bailey.
Chaka Khan, Sheila E. and vocal group Take 6 appeared on his most recent album, 2011's The Journey.
His recordings brought him seven Grammys, and Crouch also received an Academy Award nomination for his arranging work on the 1985 film The Color Purple.
Throughout his life, Crouch struggled with dyslexia, sometimes memorizing words by the shapes of their combination of letters. He often drew simple pictures to help him comprehend words and write songs.
Crouch survived multiple bouts with cancer and also suffered from diabetes.
In early December, Crouch was hospitalized with pneumonia and congestive heart failure, forcing the cancelation of his Let the Church Say Amen Celebration tour, which had been scheduled to begin Dec. 6 in Philadelphia.
He was re-admitted to the hospital Saturday with what his sister characterized in a statement as "serious health complications."