Joe Ligon Passes
The gospel music world mourns the loss of extraordinary voice and the huge heart of Willie Joe Ligon, the legendary lead voice of The Mighty Clouds of Joy. Ligon passed away over the weekend at the age of 80, and manager, Pastor Isaac Lindsey issued the following statement on Facebook:
“We are heartbroken to share the news that the World’s Greatest Male Gospel Singer – Willie Joe Ligon, Founder and Lead Singer of the three time Grammy Award winning group – The Mighty Clouds of Joy of Los Angeles, California passed away today Sunday, December 11, 2016. Joe was a loving Husband, Father, Grandfather, Brother, Cousin, Uncle, Mentor, and Friend to so many who loved him dearly. As much as Joe cherished his privacy, he always appreciated the expressions of good will from people around the world and from all walks of life. While we mourn the loss of a very good and humble man, we also celebrate his remarkable life as one of the most successful artists in Gospel Music History and hope that it serves as an example to young people around the world to work hard to make their dreams come true, to be willing to explore and push the limits, and to selflessly serve a cause greater than themselves. For those who may ask what they can do to honor Joe, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a stormy day think of Joe and get comfort in knowing that he is no longer in the storm. We kindly ask everyone to please respect the Family’s privacy during this time of bereavement.”
Founded by Ligon himself in 1955 during his high school days in Los Angeles, California, The Mighty Clouds of Joy have been trailblazers in gospel. Their traditional quartet style, laying the groundwork for the harmonies and melodies that have inspired modern male groups like The Winans and Commissioned. “The Clouds” have released over 78 recording projects during their 60 year existence. From their first recording “Steal Away To Jesus” to their 1975 cross over hit single “Ride the Mighty High” have broken barriers while representing the Gospel.