By Karu F. Daniels, AOL Black Voices
Would you believe it's been 40 years since Andraé Crouch started his career in the business?
And the 64 year-old-gospel pioneer is planning to celebrate the feat in high style with a star studded concert at the very church he first sang, California's New Christ Memorial Church -- the temple his father founded.
On April 28, the nine-time Grammy Award winning inspirational music maestro will host an evening of celebratory praise with a concert featuring gospel heavyweights Tramaine Hawkins, Donnie McClurkin, BeBe Winans, and the New Christ Memorial Church Mass Choir.
For more than a decade, Crouch has served as pastor at the San Fernando Valley-based house of worship.
While the Saturday event is the centerpiece for a three-day holy rolling festival, festivities also include a special black tie affair featuring internationally renowned gospel powerhouses Shirley Caesar and CeCe Winans at the Sheraton Universal Hotel on April 27.
Considered "The Godfather of Gospel," his classic songs that have been recorded by artists as diverse as Elvis Presley and Destiny's Child. His vast repertoire includes inspirational tunes such as 'Can't Nobody Do Me Like Jesus,' 'My Tribute (To God Be the Glory),' 'Soon and Very Soon,' 'Jesus is the Answer,' 'Take Me Back' and 'Through it All.'
Aside from his nine Grammy awards, Crouch has been nominated for an Academy Award ('The Color Purple' soundtrack), collaborated with Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Quincy Jones, Madonna and Elton John. He has also won nine Dove Awards, two NAACP Image awards, and even has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame among other accolades.
Recently, he co-wrote the title track of CeCe Winans' gold-selling opus 'Throne Room,' and his latest project, titled 'Mighty Wind' was nominated for an NAACP Image Award.
THE GOSPEL TRUTH: Our resident gospel authority Jawn Murray pays homage to some of the industry's biggest names here.