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Gospel star Edwin Hawkins dies, aged 74

Edwin Hawkins Singers. File photo

The American gospel music star Edwin Hawkins has died at his home in California, at the age of 74.

The Grammy-winning singer had been suffering from pancreatic cancer, his publicist said.

Hawkins was regarded as a pioneer of urban gospel music, blending gospel hymns with secular sound. He is best-known for the 1969 hit Oh Happy Day.

The following year the Edwin Hawkins Singers backed Melanie on her top 10 hit Lay Down (Candles in the Rain).


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