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Iconic Gospel Legend Edwin Hawkins Passes

Gospel music lovers around the globe celebrate the musical genius of the Father of Contemporary Gospel Music, Edwin Hawkins as news of his passing permeated social media. Hawkins passed after a brief illness on January 15th. 

Hawkins’ reworked arrangement of the hymn Oh Happy Day for the recording of the Northern California COGIC State Youth Choir catapulted the choir to stardom and birthed the Edwin Hawkins Singers. The group would serve as a springboard for singers Dorothy Morrison, Tramaine Hawkins, Shirley Miller,  Walter Hawkins, Lillie Knalls and others. Oh Happy Day went on to win a Grammy Award and Edwin would later organize and found the Music and Arts Seminar along with his brother, Bishop Walter Hawkins.

In a career that spanned some 50 years, Hawkins appeared in the movie Leap of Faith while Oh Happy Day was featured in Sister Act 2 and covered by the likes of Aretha Franklin and Mavis Staples and countless others. Edwin joined Walter and the Hawkins Family on the Love Alive Love Center Choir Series as well as recordings of the Hawkins Family.

Funeral arrangements are pending at this time.

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