Andrae Crouch, a legendary gospel performer, songwriter and choir director whose work graced songs by Michael Jackson and Madonna and movies such as “The Lion King,” has died. He was 72.
Crouch died Thursday afternoon at Northridge Hospital Medical Center, where he had been admitted Saturday after suffering a heart attack, said his publicist, Brian Mayes.
The Recording Academy, which awarded seven Grammys to Crouch during a career that spanned more than a half-century, said in a statement that he was “a remarkable musician and legendary figure” who was “fiercely devoted to evolving the sound of contemporary, urban gospel music.”
On Friday, gospel greats, Pastor Donnie McClurkin, Fred Hammond, Kirk Franklin, Yolanda Adams, David and Tamela Mann and J. Moss joined Roland Martin, host of “NewsOne Now” to celebrate the life of Crouch and share some of their favorite memories of him.
Franklin recalled a time when he was only 7 years old, he was told he was going to be the next Andrae Crouch. Franklin and the late Andrae Crouch are both known for changing the landscape of gospel music in their own respective times.
Franklin said he never achieved Andrae Crouch status and doesn’t think “anyone” will ever achieve the type of landscape that he created for the sound of Jesus Music.”
Hammond told Martin that in Detroit he remembered hearing a sound come from a group of men called The Testimonial Singers who changed their name to The Winans after signing with Crouch.
After hearing The Winans, Hammond said, “I knew I could do this for a living because I heard what he (Crouch) had done with them.”
It’s amazing that the sound The Winans heard from Crouch allowed them create their music and as a result of Crouch’s impact on the Winans, Hammond felt he could go on and produce his own music within the genre.
We can all agree that as a result of the monumental impact that Andare Crouch had on gospel as well as secular music, we are all the better for having experienced his unparalleled musical prowess.
All that and more in this edition of the NewsOne Now Audio Podcast.