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.