Gospel legend Bishop Rance Allen dies at the age of 71

Gospel singing legend Bishop Rance Allen, who was known as the “Father of Contemporary Gospel Music,” died Saturday morning at the age of 71. His cause of death is unknown.

The Church of God in Christ announced the news in a Facebook post, writing in part that “God who is omnipotent and omniscient has summoned His servant, Bishop Rance Lee Allen, to eternal rest.”

The church added that the “family would hold a private memorial service” for Allen due to the COVID-19 restrictions, with another public service to recognize the singer’s “godly life and notable achievements” at a later date.

Widely known for his gospel hit “Something About the Name Jesus,” Allen helped form The Rance Allen Group with his brothers Tom and Steve in 1969. The group was nominated for Grammy Awards in 1981, 1991 and 2004 and inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1998.

Allen also served as pastor at the New Bethel Church of God in Christ in Toledo, Ohio. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Ellen Marie Allen.

By Candice Williams
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