Gospel legend Edwin Hawkins is reportedly ill and facing several health challenges. Hawkins is gospel royalty and boasts a catalog of gospel music gold, most notably “Oh Happy Day”. Hawkins’ arrangement of the hymn has altered the course of gospel music worldwide. In its 50th year, the song is still a hit with sacred and secular audiences the world over. He is loved everywhere and the mutual fondness has endeared him to generations of gospel music lovers. He and his siblings comprised the Hawkins’ Family, who helped shaped the course of gospel music in the late 60’s, became the architects of the sound now known as contemporary gospel music and have individually and collectively chartered a course for musicians and singers to follow.
For his impact, the four-time GRAMMY Award winner is heralded appropriately and is colloquialized as “the Father of Contemporary Gospel”. His impact on sacred music has been felt far and wide and celebrated in audiences of all racial and age demographics. Whether through a recording, seminar or his annual Music and Arts Conference, Dr. Hawkins has committed himself to enriching the sound and art of gospel music performance. Dr. Hawkins’ last recorded album “Testify” was released in 2008 and since he has written for and produced many songs and albums for rising and independent gospel artists.
Hawkins’ performance with the San Francisco Symphony last December was a bit of a dream come true with reflective vastness of the reach of his genius. The pen was mightiest in Dr. Hawkins hand and he has gifted us with music beyond “Oh Happy Day”. Though his reputation precedes him, his demure demeanor often precludes the public from lauding him in the manner his discography deserves. Songs like: “Kings and Kingdoms”, “Worship the Lord” and even “This Day” are sang in moments of worship, even though many singers and musicians are unaware they are Edwin Hawkins gems. In the coming days, the Hawkins’ family requests your most urgent prayers for a man that has touched the world and literally written the song(s) that made the whole world sing!