- Created on Friday, 20 May 2011 01:56
- Written by by lime life
- Category: Music News
Hawkins died at his home in Nipon, California, his family reported.
"Today, I lost my brother, my pastor, and my best friend," said his older brother Edwin Hawkins. "Bishop Hawkins suffered bravely but now he will suffer no more and he will be greatly missed.
Born in Oakland in 1949, Walter Hawkins attended the University of California, Berkeley, and recorded his first gospel album, "Do Your Best," while studying for a divinity degree there.
He and his brother Edwin formed The Edwin Hawkins Singers, finding success with "Oh Happy Day," one of the first gospel songs to make it big in mainstream music.
Walter Hawkins left the group in the early '70s to found the Love Center Church in Oakland. There he and his choir recorded multiple hits, earning nine Grammy nominations (and one win) in the years to come.
He is survived by his brother, two children and many nieces, nephews and grandchildren.