Gospel great Edwin Hawkins dead at 74
This is the official notice from the family of Edwin Hawkins. We appreciate your prayers during this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/xRi1z15haA
— Edwin Hawkins (@iamEdwinHawkins) January 11, 2018
Singer and songwriter Edwin Hawkins, 74, made the world smile when he crafted one of the biggest hits in his musical career, “Oh Happy Day.” A 4x Grammy Award-winning gospel music composer, singer and chorus master, Hawkins arrangement of the gospel single for a Bay Area church choir was a gamechanger. On Monday, January 15, Hawkins passed away at his home in Pleasanton, California, a suburb in the San Francisco Bay Area located about 25 miles east of Oakland.
His publicist Bill Carpenter shared with AP that Hawkins has been suffering with pancreatic cancer.
Today we lost a great music gift in the gospel music world. We will miss Edwin Hawkins. 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/R4vh0thzYh
— Bishop Dale Bronner (@BishopBronner) January 15, 2018
Hawkins is the co-founder of Northern California State Youth Choir at Ephesian Church of God in Christ in Berkeley, California. The viral single, reportedly produced to fund a trip to a gospel competition, inspired other musical greats to either cover the song or sparked them to be creative including George Harrison, Glen Campbell, Elvis Presley, Johnny Mathis and others. It made cinematic history in Sister Act 2 starring Whoopi Goldberg and featuring Ryan Toby, Lauryn Hill and Jennifer Love Hewitt.
— Edwin Hawkins (@iamEdwinHawkins) August 10, 2017
Self-taught keyboard players, his brother, another gospel great, Walter Hawkins preceded him in death in 2010. He leaves siblings Carol, Feddie, Daniel and Lynette to cherish his memory.
— Edwin Hawkins (@iamEdwinHawkins) January 26, 2017
Click continue below for the Sister Act 2 rendition.