Andrae Crouch: Michael Jackson And Madonna Collaborator Dies

Andrae Crouch, the singer known for singing and directing the choir on such big hits as Madonna's "Like a Prayer" and Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror," has died. Andrae Crouch was 72-years-old and was admitted to the Northridge Hospital Medical Center after suffering a heart attack on Saturday.

Crouch wrote his first gospel at age 14 and went on to win seven Grammy awards. Andrew Barker from Variety perfectly summarizes Andrae Crouch's significance.

"Active since the 1960s, the Southern California native was notable for incorporating contemporary secular music styles into the Gospel tradition, helping to pave a path for much of contemporary Christian music in the process. Stevie Wonder, Elton John and Quincy Jones were among Crouch's many secular music collaborators, and he conducted choir parts for such pop hits as Madonna's 'Like a Prayer' and Michael Jackson's 'Man in the Mirror.'"

Several paid tribute to Andrae Crouch on Twitter.

Andrae Crouch's death wasn't a complete surprise, especially since CBN's quote from his sister on Tuesday sounded unpromising.

"At this time, Andrae is being attended by a wonderful medical team, and we are so grateful for the thousands of people around the world who are praying for Andrae right now."

During the making of his album Mighty Wind in 2006, Andrae told CBN he had cancer of the throat. When doctors cut it out, they discovered seven nodes or polyps surrounding it. Crouch, whose mother, father, and brother all died of cancer, said when the doctors checked it again after cutting the growth, the nodes were gone.

Andrae Crouch is also well known in the film industry. He was The Lion King's main arranger and conductor. He also wrote the song "Maybe God's Trying to Tell You Something" from The Color Purple. He also penned the tune "He's Gone/He's Back" from Once Upon a Forest in 1993.

Madonna has yet to comment on Crouch, but you can bet she will by this weekend. It is interesting to note that back in 1989, reports indicated that the Andrae Crouch Choir did not want to participate in the "Like a Prayer" video due to its content, which included burning crosses and stigmata. Andrae Crouch was happy with the song, but obviously didn't want to get caught in a firestorm of controversy.

It is obviously too early for Crouch's funeral arrangement, but you can expect a lot of famous musicians to show up. What is your favorite memory of Andrae Crouch? Tell us in the comments section.