George Beverly Shea dies; sang at Graham crusades
CHARLOTTE, N.C. George Beverly Shea, the booming baritone who sang to millions of Christians at evangelist Billy Graham's crusades, died Tuesday after a brief illness. He was 104.
Spokesman Brent Rinehart of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association said Shea died in Asheville after a brief illness.
Besides his distinctive voice, Shea was known for his trademark rendition of "How Great Thou Art" and his inspirational "The Wonder of It All." He performed live before an estimated 200 million at crusades over the years and recorded more than 70 albums.
Shea was the recipient of ten Grammy nominations, a Grammy Award in 1965, and was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Grammy organization in 2011. He was also a member of the Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Religious Broadcasting Hall of Fame in February 1996. Shea was also inducted into the inaugural class of the Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists' "Hall of Faith" in 2008.
Shea is survived by his wife, Karlene, and his children from his first marriage, Ronald and Elaine. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Erma, who died in 1976.