He was best known for his 1969 hit "Oh Happy Day"

American gospel music star Edwin Hawkins has died at his home in California, at the age of 74. He had been suffering from pancreatic cancer.

In the 1960s, Hawkins co-founded the Northern California State Youth Choir, who merged traditional gospel with rhythm’n’blues. Their arrangement of a traditional hymn, “Oh Happy Day”, became a runaway hit in 1969 under the name The Edwin Hawkins Singers.

It reached No. 2 in the UK, eventually selling over seven million copies worldwide and winning Hawkins a Grammy.

The Edwin Hawkins Singers enjoyed a second top ten hit backing Melanie on her 1970 single “Lay Down (Candles In The Rain)”.

The February 2018 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – with The Great Lost Venues Of Britain on the cover. Elsewhere in the issue, there a giant preview of 2018’s key albums plus new interviews with Keith Richards, Buffalo Springfield, Michael McDonald, The Sweet and many more. Our free 15 track-CD features 15 tracks of the month’s best music.

Uncut: the past, present and future of great music.