Sunday, July 11, 2010

Walter Hawkins dead at 61

Walter Hawkins
Grammy Award-winning gospel singer, composer, and pastor, Walter Hawkins died Sunday at his home in Ripon, California after losing a battle with cancer. He was 61.

According to his older brother, Edwin Hawkins, Walter fought an arduous battle with pancreatic cancer. “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.The gospel singer was born in Oakland, California and obtained his divinity degree from the University of California at Berkeley.In 1972 he recorded his first album ‘Do Your Best.’

In 1973, he became a pastor and founded the Love Center Church in Oakland.The Mercury News reports that Bill Carpenter, a friend and family representative said that Hawkins garnered nine Grammy nominations after recording a series of albums. Hawkins' ‘The Lord’s Prayer,’ won him a Grammy in 1980.Hawkins was once married to gospel great Tramaine Hawkins, but the union ended in divorce.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.