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Grammy-Winning Gospel Singer Sandra Crouch Dead at 81

The singer and pastor was known for her solo music and performing with her twin brother Andraé Crouch

<p>Alonso Garcia</p> Sandra Crouch

Alonso Garcia

Sandra Crouch

Sandra Crouch, a Grammy-winning gospel singer and pastor, has died. She was 81.

Crouch, who was known for her hits on gospel radio and collaborating with her twin brother Andraé Crouch in The COGICS and his group The Disciples, died on March 17. The church that she preached at, New Christ Memorial Church in Los Angeles, confirmed her death with a post on Facebook last week.

Assistant Pastor Kenneth J. Cook shared a statement on the platform, along with a smiling photo of Crouch. "It’s with a heavy heart that I announce that at 12pm today, March 17, 2024, our beloved Senior Pastor Sandra Elaine Crouch transitioned into the arms of the Lord," Cook wrote. "We as believers know that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord."

"We will forever cherish the memories and teachings we received from her. Details on the service will be forthcoming," the statement concluded.

Throughout her career, Crouch was recognized as an accomplished Gospel singer, going on to receiving multiple Grammy nominations — including one win — for her contributions to the genre. She also worked as a studio tambourine and percussion musician for other artists and collaborated with stars like Michael Jackson as a background choir vocalist.

<p>Clarence Gatson Collection/Gado/Getty</p> Andraé Crouch and Sandra Crouch posing after accompanying Jennifer Holiday during an award ceremony performance in San Francisco in 1985

Clarence Gatson Collection/Gado/Getty

Andraé Crouch and Sandra Crouch posing after accompanying Jennifer Holiday during an award ceremony performance in San Francisco in 1985

According to her family's tribute on Legacy, the singer-songwriter, born July 1, 1942 along with her twin brother Andraé, grew up surrounding by gospel music, as her father Benjamin J. Crouch was a bishop and founded the Christ Memorial Church of God in Christ in Pacoima, California.

Throughout her youth in the '60s, Crouch performed a great deal with her brother, a fellow gospel star who died at age 72 in 2015. The two took to the stage and released music together as The COGICS (The Church of God in Christ Singers), known for their 1964 album It's a Blessing and singles like "The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power."

Later in her professional career, the musician also joined her brother on select songs from his Andraé Crouch and The Disciples project, including 1973's "Jesus Is the Answer."

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The performer went on to release five solo albums, beginning with her debut solo record, We Sing Praises, in 1983. The album garnered three Grammy nominations, one of which she won for best solo gospel performance, female for its title track.

Her sophomore album, 1985's We're Waiting, also received nods from the Recording Academy, as did her 1992 LP With All of My Heart.

Aside from her gospel music, Crouch also played tambourine on songs for stars like Janis Joplin and Madonna, and provided additional vocals on tracks for hitmakers like Jackson, per AllMusic. She can be heard on the late King of Pop's "Bad" and "Man in the Mirror," among other hits.

<p>Earl Gibson III/Getty</p> Sandra Crouch attends the memorial service for her brother Andraé Crouch on Jan. 20, 2015 at West Angeles Church of God and Christ

Earl Gibson III/Getty

Sandra Crouch attends the memorial service for her brother Andraé Crouch on Jan. 20, 2015 at West Angeles Church of God and Christ

Crouch and her brother co-pastored at Christ Memorial Church of God in Christ in Pacoima, California for many years. Following his death in 2015, she became a senior pastor at the congregation.

Famed gospel composer and singer Kurt Carr shared a moving tribute in the late musician's honor. Last week, the singer, 59, posted to Facebook to share how "broken" he was about her death and commend her for how much she had inspired him.

"My heart is broken over the passing of my big sister Sandra Crouch. She was one of my greatest inspirations and my biggest cheerleader," Carr wrote. "I am so sad yet overwhelmed with joy that she's with the Jesus she so passionately served. My peace is knowing she is reunited with her beloved twin Andrae."

"I Love you my sister and I promise to never forget your spiritual impartation, life lessons, love, and big sister loving rebukes. Knowing you made a better me!" he continued. "Rest in your reward my sister."

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