From news release, Feb 4, 2015    [Editor’s note: Adventists, at least those of “a certain age,” will remember Andraé Crouch and his music. Crouch’s work was and is popular among all churches, but some songs, particularly “Soon and Very Soon,” were especially suited to Adventists and were sung constantly on Adventist campuses. This man and his egalitarian ideals will be missed. DLK]

 

Andraé Crouch 72, a gospel composer and singer whose music appears in many hymnals, died January 8 after suffering a heart attack.

Among his most well-known compositions are “My Tribute,” “Soon and Very Soon,” and “Through it All.”

Crouch, an African-American artist who performed at Billy Graham crusades, became popular in white churches first and later among black audiences, said Bil Carpenter, author of Uncloudy Days: The Gospel Music Encyclopedia.

“This generation doesn’t have any idea that some of the songs they sing every Sunday in church are songs Andraé Crouch wrote,” Carpenter said.

Crouch also contributed to recordings by Madonna and Michael Jackson and movie scores such as The Lion King and Free Willy. He collaborated with Quincy Jones on The Color Purple movie soundtrack.

Crouch became pastor of New Christ Memorial Church of God in Christ in 1995. His father founded the suburban Los Angeles congregation. He broke with his denomination’s tradition in 1998 when he ordained his twin sister, Sandra Crouch, and named her copastor.

“God’s agenda has no gender,” Crouch told Religion News Service then.

Crouch won seven Grammys for his work as a soloist and with others. Crouch’s most recent album, Journey, was released in 2011 and reached no. 3 on Billboard’s Gospel Albums chart.

Anthea Butler, professor of religious studies and Africana studies at the University of Pennsylvania, said Crouch was influential in the 1970s when churches were making a transition from gospel choirs to more soloists.

“He was right there on the cusp of all that,” she said. —Adelle M. Banks, Religious News Service