Gospel music pioneer Andrae Crouch

ANDRAE Crouch, a Grammy-winning gospel composer and singer whose music remains a staple in many church hymnals, has died. He was 72 and had been sick for many years.

Among his most well-known compositions is “My Tribute,” whose chorus begins “To God be the glory.” Others include “Take Me Back,” “Soon and Very Soon,” “Jesus Is the Answer” and “Through It All.”

“Even to this day, this generation doesn’t have any idea that some of the songs they sing every Sunday in church are songs Andrae Crouch wrote,” said Bil Carpenter, author of “Uncloudy Days: The Gospel Music Encyclopedia.”

Crouch, an African-American artist, was unusual in that his music became popular in white churches first and later among black audiences, Carpenter said.

Though best-known for his decades of pioneering work in the contemporary gospel music industry, Crouch also contributed to secular music projects, including recordings by Madonna and Michael Jackson and movie scores such as ”The Lion King” and “Free Willy.” He collaborated with Quincy Jones on the movie soundtrack for “The Color Purple.”

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