Legendary Gospel Musician, Andrae Crouch Dies At 72
Andrae Crouch was a legendary figure in gospel music. He was a performer, songwriter and choir director who worked with acclaimed artists like Michael Jackson and Madonna and his performances as arranger and choral conductor graced movies such as “The Lion King”. Crouch died at the age of 72 on Thursday afternoon at Northridge Hospital Medical Center, where he was admitted on Saturday after suffering a heart attack as confirmed by his publicist, Brian Mayes.
Andrae Crouch was active in the music industry for more than a half-century and won 7 Grammy Awards. The Recording Academy said in their statement: “Andrae Crouch was a remarkable musician and legendary figure who was fiercely devoted to evolving the sound of contemporary, urban gospel music.”
Crouch’s twin sister, Sandra who is also a singer, lived in the Pacoima area of Los Angeles with him and they both were pastors at the New Christ Memorial Church in San Fernando. “Today my twin brother, womb-mate and best friend went home to be with the Lord“, said Pastor Sandra Crouch. “I tried to keep him here but God loved him best”.
The musician who was born in San Francisco, wrote his first gospel song at the young age of 14. Later and throughout his tremendous career, Crouch wrote, arranged and performed dozens of songs, including gospel favorites such as “The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power”, ”My Tribute (To God Be the Glory)” and “Soon and Very Soon” which was sang at Michael Jackson’s public memorial.
Furthermore, Crouch played a significant role in the spread of contemporary Christian music that started in the ’60s and ’70s. “We’ve lost a true pioneer and he will be missed“, said Jason Crabb, another Grammy-winning gospel singer.
His influence also inspired pop music. Elvis Presley performed Crouch’s song “I’ve Got Confidence” for a 1972 gospel album and Paul Simon recorded “Jesus Is the Answer” for a 1974 live album. Moreover, Crouch worked with numerous stars, such as Diana Ross and Ringo Starr and he was one of the few gospel performers to have a star on the “Hollywood Walk of Fame”. His choir, The Disciples, sang backing vocals for Madonna’s song “Like A Prayer”, while he also helped the King of Pop, Michael Jackson arrange his 1987 hit song, “Man in the Mirror”. As an arranger and choral conductor, Andrae Crouch worked on the soundtrack of the 1985 film “The Color Purple”, earning an Academy Award nomination.
Andrae Crouch has been suffering from severe health issues, including diabetes and cancer. Last month, he was hospitalized for pneumonia and congestive heart failure and canceled his scheduled tour.
Despite his lifelong struggle with dyslexia, Crouch still enjoyed a successful career. “I memorized everything through sight, the shape of the word“, Crouch told The Associated Press in 2011. “So when I finish a song, I thank God for bringing me through,” he added. “You have to press on and know your calling. That’s what I’ve been doing for all my life. I just went forward.”
Rest In Peace Crouch and your works will forever live on!
Enjoy some of his performances:
Photo Credit: Frank Micelotta, Invision/AP, Frank Wiese, Associated Press, Facebook