Gospel star Edwin Hawkins, known for his crossover hit “Oh Happy Day,” passed away on Monday at the age of 74.
According to publicist Bill Carpenter, Hawkins died in his home in Pleasanton, Calif. after battling pancreatic cancer.
Hawkins, a native of Oakland, Calif., released his first album, Let Us Go into the House of the Lord, in 1968. “Oh Happy Day,” a single from the album, was picked up by radio stations and soon became a massive success. The song featured vocals from Dorothy Combs Morrison and listed a single credit to Edwin Hawkins Singers.
Hawkins won four Grammys for his work in the gospel industry, receiving Best Gospel Performance in 1970 and 1971, Best Soul Gospel Performance, Contemporary in 1978 and Best Gospel Choir or Chorus Album in 1993 for Edwin Hawkins Music & Arts Seminar Mass Choir – Recorded Live in Los Angeles.
Hawkins was also inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2007.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.