Gospel legend Inez Andrews passes away

Birmingham native Inez Andrews reportedly passed away this afternoon after a long illness. 

Inez Andrews’s powerful contralto voice was among gospel’s greatest since her days with The Caravans in the late ’50s. Andrews’s nickname, “Songbird,” was taken by Don Robey when he formed a gospel subsidiary label of his Backbeat/Peacock operation. Andrews was among the first gospel artists he signed. She later recorded for Savoy and Spirit Feel. Her most recent release was Raise up a Nation with The Thompson Community Singers in 1991 for Word/Epic. Headline News, a collection of some of her finest solo work in the ’70s, was released in 1999. – Allmusic.com

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