George Beverly Shea
February 1, 1909 – April 16, 2013
George Beverly Shea was an American Gospel singer and composer who was widely refereed to as “America’s Beloved Gospel Singer.” Thanks in part to his numerous appearances at Billy Graham‘s many crusades along with subsequent recordings and radio appearances, Shea is considered one of Gospel music’s first true International stars. Born in Ontario, Canada, Shea became a naturalized American citizen in 1941. He was taught the violin, piano and organ as a youngster, but it was eventually his beautiful baritone voice that got noticed while singing at his father’s church. He eventually moved to New York and then Chicago where he became a featured soloist on Graham’s weekly radio program. Thanks to Shea’s singing, the show’s ratings skyrocketed almost overnight. He went on to sing on other programs but ultimately worked alongside Graham over the next seven decades. Throughout his career, Shea soloed on upwards of 500 recordings on over seventy albums. He recorded several of his own albums as well. His most famous recording is his rendition of “How Great Thou Art.” As a composer, Shea’s most popular songs are “I’d Rather Have Jesus” and “The Wonder Of It All.” He won a Grammy for Best Gospel Recording in 1966, and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. He’s also won countless awards from various Gospel and Christian music associations. George Beverly Shaw was 104 when he passed away on April 16, 2013.
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