Gospel superstar Andraé Crouch, whose career spanned more than 50 years, has gone to the afterlife at the age of 72. Crouch was known for merging the gospel world with mainstream music as a singer, songwriter and choir director. He had been hospitalized for the past few days in Los Angeles after reportedly suffering a heart attack.
Crouch was known by many as the “father of modern gospel music.” He led the choirs that sang songs like Michael Jackson’s Man In The Mirror, and “Like A Prayer,” by Madonna. He is also responsible for writing many gospel hits: The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power, My Tribute (To God Be the Glory) and Soon and Very Soon. The last of these songs was sung as Michael Jack-son’s memorial service.
Crouch grew up in the Church of God in Christ in San Franicsco, writing his first gospel song at the age of 14. He formed the group, “Church of God in Christ Singers” in 1960.
His second group, Andraé Crouch & the Disciples, was started in 1965. This group was signed to a Light Records. Crouch had the ability to reach both black and white audiences, which were key to his enormous success. Even Elvis Presley recorded Crouch’s song “I’ve got confidence” in 1972 for his album “He Touched Me.”
Crouch became known as one of the key go-to men for anyone in Los Angeles seeking a gospel sound for their music. Despite suffering from dyslexia his entire life, Crouch was still able to do brilliant work by memorizing letters by their shape. He won an Academy Award nomination in 1985 for his work with the hit film, “The Color Purple.”
Crouch was a legend, respected throughout the world. He will surely be missed.