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Recording Academy Statement and Official Statement on the Passing of Joe Ligon of the Mighty Clouds of Joy

buzzz worthy. . .

Willie "Joe" Ligon, the legendary lead singer of the Mighty Clouds of Joy gospel quartet died on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016.  Mr. Ligon, an original member since the group's start in 1961, was a pioneer who popularized the qaurtet sound, fusing soul, rock  and R&B in the music. Known for such songs as "I've Been  the Storm Too Long," "Walk Around Heaven All Day," and "Time" Ligon's whooping and preacher-like inflections would eventually be embraced by the mainstream. The Troy, Alabama born singer Their classic "Ride the Mighty High" crossed over to the disco chart for the Grammy winning group in 1975. Having toured with Aretha Franklin and the Rolling Stones, The Clouds were among  the first to usher in contemporary gospel music, a distintion the drew criticism from the Church.  The Mighty Clouds of Joy were the first gospel group to appear on Soul Train. Based in Los Angeles, Ligon took the Southern Baptist style to the West Coast where he leaves behind a legion of fans. Joe Ligon, dead at the age of 80.

The Slice will post details about Mr. Ligon's funeral services as they become available.

Neil Portnow, President of the Recording Academy had this to say about the enormous loss.


"Joe Ligon was a beloved, groundbreaking artist whose unique singing and performing style made him truly unforgettable. A three-time GRAMMY® winner for his work with gospel group Mighty Clouds Of Joy, Joe remained steadfast in his commitment to musical excellence and the arts for over five decades, carving a path for other contemporary gospel artists. Our creative community has lost a truly gifted and cherished artist and our sincerest condolences go out to Joe’s family, friends, and all of those who had the pleasure of working with him."

Neil Portnow
The Recording Academy

We are heartbroken to share the news that the World’s Greatest Male Gospel Singer – Willie Joe Ligon, Founder and Lead Singer of the three time Grammy Award winning group – The Mighty Clouds of Joy of Los Angeles, California passed away today Sunday, December 11, 2016.
Joe was a loving Husband, Father, Grandfather, Brother, Cousin, Uncle, Mentor, and Friend to so many who loved him dearly.
As much as Joe cherished his privacy, he always appreciated the expressions of good will from people around the world and from all walks of life.
While we mourn the loss of a very good and humble man, we also celebrate his remarkable life as one of the most successful Artist in Gospel Music History and hope that it serves as an example to young people around the world to work hard to make their dreams come true, to be willing to explore and push the limits, and to selflessly serve a cause greater than themselves.
For those who may ask what they can do to honor Joe, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a stormy day think of Joe and get comfort in knowing that he is no longer in the storm.
Additional information about the final arrangements will be released to the general public pending Mr. Ligon’s family’s approval.
We kindly ask everyone to please respect the Family’s privacy during this time of bereavement.
Thank you!
Best regards, Pastor Isaac Lindsey, Manager
Joe Ligon & The Mighty Clouds of Joy