R.I.P. Detroit Gospel great Kuipiio Livingston

(October 1, 2021) Her name is Hawaiian and means “Little Angel,” and tonight the Motor City is mourning the passing of one their favorites. Singer Kuipiio Livingston has died at age 45, after a two decade battle with a lung disease. 

Kuipiio was a gifted Gospel singer who was a local favorite as part of Bishop Marvin L. Winans’ Perfecting Church, where she regularly performed in the 90s.

But for more than two decades, Kuipiio battled Sacoidosis, an autoimmune disease the leads to inflammation of the lungs, skin and lymph nodes. The disease left her lungs scarred to the point of needing a lung transplant. Friends became used to seeing her at events around Detroit with her portable oxygen machine, and occasionally she would take the tubes off for a few minutes let her brilliant voice shine.

(October 1, 2021) Her name is Hawaiian and means “Little Angel,” and tonight the Motor City is mourning the passing of one their favorites. Singer Kuipiio Livingston has died at age 45, after a two decade battle with a lung disease. 

Kuipiio was a gifted Gospel singer who was a local favorite as part of Bishop Marvin L. Winans’ Perfecting Church, where she regularly performed in the 90s.

But for more than two decades, Kuipiio battled Sacoidosis, an autoimmune disease the leads to inflammation of the lungs, skin and lymph nodes. The disease left her lungs scarred to the point of needing a lung transplant. Friends became used to seeing her at events around Detroit with her portable oxygen machine, and occasionally she would take the tubes off for a few minutes let her brilliant voice shine.

I first met Kuipiio several years ago at an intimate local show hosted by Detroit singer Darnell Kendricks, and her joy, even while facing her illness, was infectious. And I was fortunate to also hear her sing that night, and to experience why she was so loved locally.

Earlier this Summer, friends led a GoFundMe campaign to help offset some of Kuipiio’s medical expenses, as she waited for a double lung transplant. And local television stations had the whole city rooting for her recovery. Sadly, she ran out of time.

Tonight we will say a prayer for the family and friends of the “Little Angel,” who we know is singing with a heavenly choir.

By Chris Rizik

 

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