Walter Hawkins

*Gospel music icon Bishop Walter Hawkins passed away in at his home in Ripon, CA on Sunday after suffering with pancreatic cancer, according to online reports. He was 61

According to  his older brother Edwin, Walter fought a brave battle with the disease.

“Today, I lost my brother, my pastor, and my best friend … Bishop Hawkins suffered bravely but now he will suffer no more and will be greatly missed,” he said.

Hawkins was a contemporary gospel forerunner who rose to prominence as a member of the Hawkins Singers along with his brother  in the late sixties.

The articulate tenor’s tender voice possessed authority and a tonal quality second to none as demonstrated on the duet he shared as a featured artist with Donald Lawrence on the 2002 Tri-Cities Singers recording, “Seasons.”

The Christian Music Hall of Fame inductee was also the former husband of gospel legend Tramaine Hawkins. He was also the beloved pastor of Love Center Ministries in Oakland. In May of this year he was saluted with a sixty-first birthday celebration

Hawkins is survived by two children, Trystan Hawkins and Walter “Jamie” Hawkins Jr., an R&B singer; a daughter-in-law, gospel singer Myiia “Sunny” Hawkins; two grandchildren, Jamie-Daniel and Jahve; and his siblings, Carol, Feddie, Edwin, Daniel, and Lynette.

Walter (and Edwin) Hawkins also performed “Marvelous” & “Oh Happy Day” at the White House: