LOS ANGELES - Andrae Crouch, a legendary gospel performer, songwriter and choir director whose work graced songs by Michael Jackson and Madonna and movies such as "The Lion King," has died. He was 72.
His publicist says Crouch died Thursday at a hospital in Los Angeles, where he was admitted Saturday after suffering a heart attack.
In a career that spanned more than half a century, Crouch wrote dozens of songs, including gospel favorites such as "The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power" and "Soon and Very Soon," which was sung at a public memorial to Jackson.
He helped pioneer the "Jesus Music" movement in the late 1960s and '70s that started the spread of contemporary Christian music.
But his influence also was felt in pop music. Elvis Presley and Paul Simon performed his songs. He helped arrange the Jackson song "Man in the Mirror," and his arrangement for the film "The Color Purple" earned an Oscar nomination.