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Oh Happy Day tops gospel chart after Edwin Hawkins' death

Fri 26 Jan 2018
By Cara Bentley

A week after gospel singer Edwin Hawkins died, his most famous song, 'Oh Happy Day', increased sales by 999-per-cent.

Edwin Hawkins died on Monday 15th January from pancreatic cancer at the age of 74 and, in the week ending 27th January 2018, the song reached number one in the Billboard Magazine's Gospel Digital Song chart.

It also reached over 173,000 streams during the same period.

Hawkins recorded Oh Happy Day in 1969 with the Edwin Hawkins Singers; his management team were planning 50th Anniversary activities.

He won a Grammy award for Best Soul Gospel Performance as well as being nominated 19 times between 1969 and 1996.

Neil Portnow, the President and CEO of The Recording Academy, said in a statement: "Edwin Hawkins was a celebrated recording artist recognized as a founder of modern gospel music"

Portnow added that: "Edwin's contributions to the contemporary Christian genre and commitment to music celebrating religious faith will continue to inspire both artists and audiences for years to come.

"Our thoughts go out to Edwin's family and collaborators during this difficult time."

The song reached number two in the UK in 1969. 

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