Obama says the late Andrae Crouch's music will 'continue to live on'

Gospel legend Andrae Crouch(Photo: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson)

US President Barack Obama led tributes to Pastor Andrae Crouch, touted as the "father of modern gospel music" by his peers, after he passed away this week.

In his White House statement, the President described the pastor as a music legend with humble roots, who proceeded to make history using his God-given talents, leading to a career that spanned five decades.

"As a leading pioneer of contemporary gospel music, the soulful classics that Pastor Crouch created over the years have uplifted the hearts and minds of several generations and his timeless influence continues to be felt in not only gospel but a variety of music genres. We are grateful that his music and spirit will continue to live on for years to come and our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and fans during this time," he said.

The 72-year-old, who was inducted in the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, is credited for revolutionizing gospel music with the introduction of contemporary influences to the genre.

Crouch died at the Northridge Hospital Medical Center on Thursday after being admitted on January 3.  According to AL.com, he had suffered a heart attack.  

On Twitter, prayers and tributes flooded the site, citing Crouch's contributions to the evolution of gospel music, and fans remembered the music legend with the hashtag #AndraeCrouch.

God's Not Dead author Rice Brooks said: "Jesus is the answer, for the world today- above Him there's no other, Jesus is the way."

Bishop TD Jakes also sent his message via Twitter, along with a photo of Crouch: "In our willingness to let God's grace rest upon us & stand as a testimony to His good works we become a testimony of His power."

"Andrae Crouch, a friend and source of worldwide inspiration, served his time well. I miss him already. RIP," civil rights activist and Baptist Minister Rev. Jesse Jackson posted.

Another gospel music legend Steven Curtis Chapman, shared on his wall "As a 13 yr old boy my life was changed watching Andraé Crouch sing & play music about Jesus..today Andraé sings for Him. "Soon & very soon!"

Maroon 5 keyboardist PJ Morton, who said on his Facebook page that while it was his parents who played Andrae Crouch's music when he was younger, he was heavily influenced by the music.

"His simplicity was his genius to me.. RIP Andrae Crouch. Such a legend!!" he posted on twitter.

Crouch's career highlights included his collaboration with Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Diana Ross and Elton John among other iconic artists.

He notched up seven wins in the Grammy Awards from 1975-1994 for Best Contemporary Soul Albums and Performances.  He worked on music for classic films like The Lion King, A Time to Kill and The Color Purple, and was nominated for an Oscar for his compositions.