Edwin Hawkins, a Grammy-winning gospel star who is best known for ‘Oh Happy Day’, has died at the age of 74.
Hawkins died at his home in Pleasanton, California on Monday.
He had been suffering from pancreatic cancer, according to his publicist Bill Carpenter.
Hawkins, a trailblazer of modern gospel and inspirational music, was among the first singers to enjoy commercial success with the genre.
He was a composer, keyboardist, arranger and choir master who helped form the Northern California State Youth Choir.
‘Oh Happy Day’, featuring the vocals of Dorothy Combs Morrison, was released in 1969.
The song reached the top 10 on the pop charts, going on to win a Grammy for best soul gospel performance.
In an interview in 2015, Hawkins had said: “I think our music was probably a blend and a crossover of everything that I was hearing during that time.
“We grew up hearing all kinds of music in our home. My mother, who was a devout Christian, loved the Lord and displayed that in her lifestyle.
“My father was not a committed Christian at that time but was what you’d call a good man.”
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