Gospel Music Legend Walter Hawkins Dead at 61

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Grammy Award-winning Gospel singer and composer Bishop Walter Hawkins passed away at his Ripon, Calif. home on Sunday after a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer.  He was 61.
   
"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," Hawkins' older brother, Edwin, said.

The nine-time Grammy Award winner was well-known for his best-selling "Love Alive" series of albums. He was reportedly preparing to record his next album in the series this fall.

Hawkins founded the Love Center Church in Oakland, Calif. during the 1970's and was ordained as a bishop in 1992.

Besides his brother Edwin, Hawkins is survived by two children and two grandchildren. Arrangements for Hawkins' funeral have not been announced.

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