andrae crouch b&w

*Gospel singer, songwriter and choir director Andraé Crouch who had been hospitalized since suffering a heart attack on January 3rd, died on Thursday.

Crouch had been confined since his heart attack at Northridge Medical Center in Los Angeles’s San Fernando Valley He was 72.

According to USA Today, Crouch, sometimes called “the father of modern gospel music,” led the choirs that sang on such hits as Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror and Madonna’s Like a Prayer. As a songwriter, he wrote several gospel favorites, most notably The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power, My Tribute (To God Be the Glory) and Soon and Very Soon, a song sung at Jackson’s public memorial service.

A San Francisco native who grew up in the Church of God in Christ, Crouch wrote his first gospel tune at age 14. By 1960, he had formed the Church of God in Christ Singers, a group that featured Billy Preston on keyboards.

Crouch survived multiple bouts with cancer and also suffered from diabetes. In early December, as EUR reported, Crouch was hospitalized with pneumonia and congestive heart failure, forcing the cancelation of his “Let the Church Say Amen” celebration tour, which had been scheduled to begin Dec. 6 in Philadelphia. He was re-admitted to the hospital Saturday with what his twin sister, Sandra Crouch, characterized in a statement as “serious health complications.”