Andrae Crouch dies aged 72
Legendary gospel musician Andrae Crouch has died at a hospital in Los Angeles following a heart attack last week, his publicist has confirmed.
The seven-time Grammy winning composer, producer and singer has worked with stars like Michael Jackson and Madonna.
He also arranged pieces for Disney’s film "The Lion King" and "The Color Purple", which he received an Academy Award nomination for.
After reportedly writing his first gospel song at the age of 14, Crouch went on to become one of only a handful of gospel musicians to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
"The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power" and "Soon and Very Soon," and ”My Tribute (To God Be the Glory)" are among his most-loved works.
Born in San Francisco, he started his music career at his father’s church in the San Fernando Valley, where he played piano.
He went on to perform at the White House, the Grand Ole Opry and at Billy Graham’s rallies.
He and his twin sister were both pastors at the New Christ Memorial Church in the Los Angeles suburbs.
Image: Rex features
Pastor Sandra Crouch has paid tribute to her brother, saying: "Today my twin brother, womb-mate and best friend went home to be with the Lord,"
"I tried to keep him here but God loved him best."
Grammy-winning gospel singer, Jason Grabb, says: "We’ve lost a true pioneer and he will be missed,"
During an interview with Associated Press in 2011, Andrae Crouch highlighted how his faith was integral to his music:
"When I finish a song, I thank God for bringing me through,"
"You have to press on and know your calling. That’s what I’ve been doing for all my life. I just went forward."
Leader of the KICC Church, Pastor Matthew Ashimolow, was a good friend of Andrae Crouch and the last one to bring him to the UK.
He says Crouch "left the legacy of a holy life, a good life" but also of "a man who has changed the world with the quality of his music":
"I think he’s also one person whose music cut across cultures, race, and, in fact, also cut across into certain places somebody who may not be considered Christian or religious would play his music."
"He was the one, really, who took away that artist who played very slow, quiet music, and brought life into Gospel music.
"I think if you ask the average gospel artist today, they will have taken a lot of inspiration from him."
Pastor Matthew says his favourite memory of him was a service in America that clearly showed how loved and popular he was:
"In the early days, in the late 70s, Andrae Crouch had gone to a church in the United State of America, they had invited him to come and minister in their church.
"But they did not expect the magnitute of crowd that showed up; The crowd outside was more than the people inside!
"The church did not know that this man’s music was so strong."
Premier Gospel’s station director, Muyiwa Olarewaju, says words used to describe him will be ‘father’, ‘innovator’, ‘leader’ and ‘legend’: