Legendary Gospel Singer Dies From Radiation Complications: Sandra Crouch Was 81

Legendary Gospel Singer Dies From Radiation Complications: Sandra Crouch Was 81

Grammy-winning Gospel music singer Sandra Crouch, the late Andraé Crouch’s twin sister who co-wrote “Jesus Is the Answer,” has died. She was 81.

Crouch passed away on Sunday, March 17 at Northridge Hospital in Northridge, California, Billboard reports, following complications from radiation for a non-cancerous brain lesion. The news outlet reports that her life will be celebrated with an April 16 viewing and musical tribute at New Christ Memorial Church followed by a homegoing service on April 17.

(Photo: Clarence Gatson/Gado / Getty Images)

“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,” New Christ Memorial Church’s assistant pastor, Kenneth J. Cook, said in a statement last week via social media. “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.”

Sandra and Andraé were born on July 1, 1942 in Los Angeles to parents who went into ministry and founded Christ Memorial Church C.O.G.I.C. in 1951. The twins and their church friends performed music together as The COGICS. Sandra and Andraé then worked on their careers separately, with Sandra working as a percussionist on notable projects like The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back,” Neil Diamond’s Tap Root Manuscript and Janis Joplin’s Pearl album.

She joined forces again with her brother in The Disciples in the 1970s, singing, playing and co-writing songs including their hit “Jesus Is the Answer,” which became a staple on gospel radio. They also backed Michael Jackson on several songs on his album History – Past, Present and Future Book 1, as well as on “Man in the Mirror” when he sang it live at the Grammys in 1988. They also worked on film soundtracks for The Color Purple, Free Willy and The Lion King.

Sandra earned five Grammy nominations – and one Grammy win – with three of her own albums in the 1980s, We Sing Praises, We’re Waiting and With All of My Heart. She took home a Grammy for Best Soul Gospel Performance, Female at the 26th Grammy Awards for We Sing Praises in 1984.

Sandra and Andraé eventually took over their parents’ church and ordained Sandra as a co-pastor. That defied the COGIC denomination’s policy against female preachers, so they gave the church a new name: New Christ Memorial Church. She assumed the role of senior pastor in 2015 when Andraé died.


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