Bishop Walter Hawkins: 1949-2010

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    Walter Hawkins, one of the legends of Gospel music, has died at age 61 after a battle with cancer.  Hawkins was a pastor, a bishop and and award winning gospel singer. We asked popular Gospel singer (and Oprah's Pop Star winner) LaShell Griffin and her husband Lee Griffin to share with us their reflections on Bishop Hawkins:

    Lee: Bishop Walter Hawkins was truly a legend and musical genius. LaShell and I have fond memories as teens singing all of his songs in the choir. While it's so hard to pick just one favorite, I think mine was "Thank You Lord." We loved the call and response.

    Walter Hawkins, one of the legends of Gospel music, has died at age 61 after a battle with cancer.  Hawkins was a pastor, a bishop and and award winning gospel singer. We asked popular Gospel singer (and Oprah's Pop Star winner) LaShell Griffin and her husband Lee Griffin to share with us their reflections on Bishop Hawkins:

    Lee: Bishop Walter Hawkins was truly a legend and musical genius. LaShell and I have fond memories as teens singing all of his songs in the choir. While it's so hard to pick just one favorite, I think mine was "Thank You Lord." We loved the call and response.

    LaShell: As an artist I am so grateful for the contribution Bishop Walter Hawkins made to gospel music and to humanity as a whole. We will truly miss him, but he has left a tremendous legacy through his music. The world is truly a better place because Bishop Walter Hawkins left his finger print on it. Our prayers go out to his family and church.

    Walter Hawkins was the brother of Edwin Hawkins, Daniel Hawkins, Feddie Hawkins-Smith, Carol Hawkins and Lynette Hawkins-Stephens. With Tramaine Hawkins, he had two children, a son Walter "Jamie" Hawkins, Jr., who is married to Myiia "Sunny" Davis-Hawkins, and a daughter Trystan Hawkins. Walter Hawkins also had a granddaughter, Jahve Hawkins, and a grandson, Jamie Daniel Hawkins.

    Hawkins started his career in one of his brother's chorales, "The Northern California State Youth Choir" of the Church of Godin Christ. Later, he accompanied his brother Edwin and founded The Edwin Hawkins Singers. This collaborative effort produced the hit song "Oh Happy Day," which became one of the first gospel songs to cross over onto mainstream music charts.

    Walter Hawkins left The Edwin Hawkins Singers in the early 1970s to establish the Love Center Church in Oakland, California. He and his Love Center Choir had considerable success with their "Love Alive" series of recordings, which sold well over a million copies from the 1970s through the 1990s. "Love Alive IV", released in 1990, was #1 on the Billboard Gospel Album charts, where it stayed for 33 weeks. In all, Walter Hawkins produced and/or collaborated on 116 hit songs which were listed on the Billboard Gospel Music charts.

    Portions of this article are licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Walter Hawkins.

     

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