Rev. James Cleveland (1931-1991) was a gospel singer, songwriter, arranger, and composer. He is often referred to as the “King of Gospel Music” and is considered one of the most influential figures in the development of modern gospel music.
Cleveland was born in Chicago, Illinois, and grew up singing in the choir of his family’s church. He began his professional music career in the 1950s, singing with gospel groups such as the Caravans and the Gospelaires. In 1962, he formed the James Cleveland Singers, which became one of the most popular gospel choirs of the era.
Throughout his career, Cleveland recorded over 100 albums and won four Grammy Awards. He was known for his powerful, soulful voice and his innovative use of vocal arrangements in gospel music. In addition to his music career, Cleveland was also a minister and pastor, and was known for his commitment to social justice causes. He died in 1991 at the age of 59, but his legacy continues to influence and inspire gospel music today.