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Edwin Hawkins

  • Birthplace: Oakland, California
  • Birthday: August 19
Date of passing: 
January 15, 2018

Obituary

Obituary: 

Edwin Hawkins was an American gospel musician, pianist, choir master, composer, and arranger.

He was one of the originators of the urban contemporary gospel sound.

Hawkins (as leader of the Edwin Hawkins Singers) was probably best known for his arrangement of "Oh Happy Day,” which became a Billboard top five hit in 1969. The record won a Grammy for best soul gospel performance. Hawkins would go on to win three more Grammy awards.

The Edwin Hawkins Singers made a second foray into the charts exactly one year later, backing folk singer Melanie on "Lay Down (Candles in the Rain),” a Billboard top ten hit in 1970.

Edwin Hawkins was an American gospel musician, pianist, choir master, composer, and arranger.

He was one of the originators of the urban contemporary gospel sound.

Hawkins (as leader of the Edwin Hawkins Singers) was probably best known for his arrangement of "Oh Happy Day,” which became a Billboard top five hit in 1969. The record won a Grammy for best soul gospel performance. Hawkins would go on to win three more Grammy awards.

The Edwin Hawkins Singers made a second foray into the charts exactly one year later, backing folk singer Melanie on "Lay Down (Candles in the Rain),” a Billboard top ten hit in 1970.

The Edwin Hawkins Singers made numerous television appearances, including American Bandstand, The Andy Williams Show, The Hollywood Palace, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, and The Midnight Special.

Hawkins died January 15, 2018, in Pleasanton, California. He was 74.

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Edwin Hawkins

Edwin Hawkins

Photo credit: 
Brad Barket/Invision/AP

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