Died: Sandra Crouch, Gospel Artist Who Broke with Church to Get Ordained

She won a Grammy for “We Sing Praises,” collaborated with her brother Andraé on “Jesus Is the Answer,” and worked with everyone from Billy Graham to Michael Jackson.

Sandra Crouch, the twin sister and collaborator of gospel music legend Andraé Crouch, died earlier this month after an illness, her publicist said.

Crouch, 81, who died on March 17, will be honored with a musical tribute and funeral at New Christ Memorial Church in San Fernando, California, set for April 16-17, according to an announcement.

She died in a California hospital after having complications from treatment for a noncancerous lesion in her brain.

Though her brother’s name is more widely known, Crouch was influential in both ministry and music—within and beyond the gospel genre.

She co-wrote “Jesus Is the Answer” with her brother—a 1970s hit on both Black gospel and white gospel radio stations. In the 1980s, she composed, produced and sang the lead on “We Sing Praises,” for which she won a Grammy in 1984 for best soul gospel performance by a female, helping keep Light Records out of bankruptcy.

The label has continued to feature many other gospel acts, including The Winans, Walter Hawkins and the Hawkins Family and Commissioned, as noted by jazz and folk singer-songwriter Dara Starr Tucker in a social media post paying tribute to Sandra Crouch.

If you grew up with gospel music in the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, then this label itself is iconic for you,” said Tucker, who added that Crouch also played tambourine on hits of the Jackson 5. “For those reasons and so many more Sandra Crouch was a hugely influential figure in the world of gospel music.”

At the time of her death, Crouch was senior pastor of New Christ Memorial, after her twin brother took the controversial step in 1998 of ordaining her as co-pastor of the Pentecostal church started by their …

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