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Andraé Edward Crouch (born July 1, 1942), gospel musician, recording artist, songwriter, arranger, and producer, was a key figure in the Jesus Music movement of the 1960s and 1970s. His religious songs have been sung by Elvis Presley, Paul Simon, hippies, and mainstream churches, as well as his fellow black Pentecostal Christians. He has won seven Grammy awards [1] and an Oscar nomination. Crouch was inducted into the Gospel Music Association's Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1998.

His recordings range from reverent hymns, to the traditional gospel music pioneered by Thomas A. Dorsey, to contemporary light rock and pop-oriented songs backed by jazz musicians, to African/world-music influences.

Crouch received his early musical formation in his parents' church in southern California. Andraé, being called "the father of the modern gospel" since he more than any other have reformed the gospel music during the 70s and 80s, have often told the story about how his piano-playing was literally God-given while still being a kid (also written on the official website).

His first group was the COGICS (Church of God in Christ Singers/1960), which Billy Preston. Preston later played organ for the Beatles. The COGICS were the first to record "The Blood".

Crouch founded the Disciples in 1965. At the urging of Christian composer Ralph Carmichael, he began to record his compositions in 1969. During the 1965-85 period, Andraé Crouch and the Disciples appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, performed at the Hollywood Bowl and Carnegie Hall, and toured 68 countries. Crouch's most popular songs from this period include "The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power," "Through It All," "Bless His Holy Name," and "My Tribute". Their contemporary gospel sound reached beyond the traditional African American base and touched a racially and musically diverse audience. Several musical acts and solo performers covered (made recordings of) his more popular works, further expanding Crouch's musical influence.

Crouch later worked as a producer or arranger with Michael Jackson, Madonna (Like A Prayer), Quincy Jones, Diana Ross, Elton John and Rick Astley (Cry For Help). His film credits include Once Upon A Forest, The Color Purple, The Lion King, and Free Willy. He also appeared as the television voice of Dr. Seuss's Yertle the Turtle.

Andrae's gift of music allowed him opportunities work with the likes of Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Diana Ross, and Elton John. Who can forget the rousing rendition of 'Maybe God's Trying to Tell You Something,' from The Color Purple (featuring Tata Vega on lead), or the theme from the NBC sitcom Amen.

Crouch, who is credited with revolutionizing the sound of contemporary Gospel music, was one of the first black Gospel artists to crossover to mainstream contemporary Christian music, and his songs have become staples and popular hymns in churches all around the world. In 1996, Crouch's songs were the impetus for the Grammy Award- winning CD, Tribute: The Songs of Andrae Crouch, which featured a range of artists performing some of his classic songs including the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, Take 6 and Michael W. Smith.

Andrae Crouch has won numerous awards and honors over the years including eight Grammy Awards, three Dove Awards, and ASCAP, Billboard and NAACP Awards. In 2004, he became the only living contemporary gospel artist - and just the third in history - to have his star enshrined on the prestigious Hollywood Walk of Fame.He is the third gospel musician to appear on the walk. In 2005, Crouch was the recipient of NARAS' Inaugural Salute to Gospel Music Lifetime Achievement Award.

Andrae Crouch now serves as Senior Pastor at the New Christ Memorial Church of God in Christ in San Fernando, California, the church founded by his parents.

In 2006, he released Mighty Wind, Crouch's 40th anniversary album and the latest of more than 30 albums in his discography.

Official Website: http://www.yoshis.com/sanfrancisco/jazzclub/artist/show/1230

Added by Yoshis on April 10, 2010

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