Gospel music legend Dr. Albertina Walker has died on Friday, October 8, 2010 at the age of 81. Walker was previously admitted to a Chicago hospital where she underwent a tracheotomy surgery and had respiratory problems for years.
She had been in the hospital since her 81st birthday on Aug. 29, before her publicist confirms she passed away this morning at 4:30AM.Walker was born in Chicago, Illinois. She began singing in the youth choir at the West Point Baptist Church at an early age, and joined several Gospel groups thereafter, including The Pete Williams Singers and the Robert Anderson Singers. Albertina was greatly influenced by Mahalia Jackson, her friend and confidante. Mahalia Jackson took her on the road when she was just a teenager. “Mahalia used to kid me. She’d say, ‘Girl, you need to go sing by yourself.’ ” recalled Walker in a recent Washington Post Interview. Albertina Walker did just that. In 1951, she formed the group called The Caravans. She was given the title “Queen of Gospel Music” initially by such notables as the late Reverend James Cleveland and Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., for her outstanding achievements within the genre after the death of Mahalia Jackson in 1972.
Albertina earned many awards and honors over her six decades of music ministry. Among them, a 1995 Grammy Award for the Best Traditional Gospel Album (Songs of The Church); 10 Grammy Award nominations; 5 Gold Records; 3 Stellar Awards; 3 Dove Awards; several Gospel Music Workshop of America Excellence Awards; an induction into the 2001 Gospel Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee. In 2005, the Grammys honored her contributions to the Gospel music industry. She was also the recipient of a National Heritage Fellowship. President George Bush honored Albertina Walker for her contribution to Gospel music May 31, 2002
The funeral arrangements are as follows:
9 a.m.-6 p.m.
West Point Baptist Church
35th and Cottage Grove, Chicago, IL
Musical Salute at Apostolic Church of God
63rd and Dorchester,Chicago, IL
Funeral Service and Visitation
10 a.m. Visitation
11 a.m. Funeral Service
West Point Baptist Church
36th and Cottage Grove, Chicago, IL
Senior Pastor Rev. Dr. L. Bernard Jakes officiating
Messages may be sent to her family by visiting her official website www.albertinawalker.com
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