Gospel music great Andrae Crouch dies, 72

Andrae Crouch Singers open the memorial service for Michael Jackson at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Andrae Crouch, a seven-time Grammy winning gospel singer and composer whose influence was also widely felt in mainstream pop music, has died at the age of 72, US media reported Friday.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Crouch died late Thursday, several days after being admitted to the hospital for a heart attack.

Nicknamed "the father of modern gospel music," Crouch was known for bringing a more contemporary feel to gospel music.

He was one of only a handful of gospel musicians with a star on the Hollywood walk of fame. His soaring music was recorded by artists like Elvis Presley and Paul Simon.

News reports said he arranged songs for Michael Jackson, and the choir which bears his name performed at Jackson's public memorial service.

He also collaborated with a diverse group of music luminaries including Madonna, Elton John, Quincy Jones, The Commodores, Diana Ross and Ringo Starr.

Crouch's influence was also felt in Hollywood: He received an Academy Award nomination for the score of the movie "The Color Purple," and also arranged the soundtrack for Disney's hit animated film "The Lion King."