Born Andraé Edward Crouch on July 1st, 1942 in Los Angeles, the son of Benjamin Jerome and Catherine Dorothea Crouch, Andrae is today one of the most highly respected figures within modern contemporary gospel music and contemporary Christian music. Cousin of jazz critic Stanley Crouch, Andrae is a multi-talented singer, songwriter, producer, musical arranger and recording artist, all rolled into one creative genius.
At an early age, Crouch attended his parents' church, where he became exposed to gospel music, forming a musical trio early on with twin sister Sandra and his older brother Benjamin. Andre and his family moved to the surburb of Pacoima in the San Fernando Valley when he was still attending junior high school. Music soon became a lifetime outlet for the young Crouch, enabling him to overcome his early shyness and slight stammering impediment. In 1956 at the age of fourteen, Crouch began to compose songs, a habit he has maintained passionately on a daily basis up to today.
In 1960, while still at high school, Crouch formed his first group, the Church of God in Christ Singers (COGICS). The band included vocalist Billy Preston who later performed as organist with the famous English pop band The Beatles. By the mid sixties, Crouch had formed his second band, the Disciples with whom he released numerous popular albums on the gospel Light label platform.
Crouch played a leading role in the development of the Jesus Movement in the West coast of the United States during the late sixties to early seventies; and his contribution to the Jesus Movement inspired Elvis Presley and Paul Simon to record a number of his religious songs.
For two decades, Crouch and the Disciples went from strength to strength, performing worldwide in seventy countries. Crouch's reputation grew as he orchestrated a musical revolution, infusing traditional gospel with other musical forms outside of gospel, including R&B and mainstream pop. This and Crouch's soft vocal style drew a multi-ethnic mainstream secular audience beyond the confines of traditional gospel music. Crouch and the Disciples went on to perform to a rapturous audience at New York's famous cultural epitome, the Carnegie Hall and in 1980 the group appeared in NBC television's flagship program: Saturday Night Live comedy show, gaining further mainstream acceptance of his musical style.
Crouch and the Disciples went on to stamp their mark indelibly on the industry, collecting numerous Grammy and Dove musical awards throughout the late seventies and early eighties.
However, Crouch's musical style soon began to draw criticism from staunch traditionalists within gospel music who argued the singer / composer's music was undervaluing the spiritual essence behind traditional gospel music. But these criticisms could not dampen the musical legacy Crouch had already established with traditional gospel and mainstream audiences and he gained further success in 1984 with his Grammy award winning hit album: No Time to Lose.
Crouch's career took an unexpected turn when in a short space of time between 1993 and 1994, he lost both his beloved parents and his elder brother Benjamin. Following his father's death, Andre took the mantle as head of his father's church, Christ Memorial Church of God in Christ in Pacoima, which he ministers with his twin sister, Sandra.
Crouch managed to find time to run his church and continue with his musical career, achieving further success with the release in 1994 of his Grammy award winning work Mercy. Crouch continues to record and compose to the present day. Some of his more recent works include his 2004 album He's Everywhere, released in 2004 and before that, Legends of the Gospel(2002) and Kings of Gospel(2003).
Many contemporary Christian and gospel music artists owe their career to the groundbreaking foundation laid down in the seventies and eighties by Andrae Crouch, a towering legend whose legacy will remain a permanent reality within modern christian music.
Crouch's Grammy achievements include:
Best Pop & Contemporary Gospel Album for Mercy, in 1994.
Best Male Soul Gospel Performance for No Time to Lose, in 1984.
Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Performance for Don't Give Up, in 1981.
Best Contemporary or Inspirational Soul Gospel Performance for The Lord's Prayer, in 1980.
Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Performance for I'll Be Thinking of You, in 1979.
Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Performance (with the Disciples) for Live in London, in 1978.
Best Soul Gospel Performance (with the Disciples) for Take Me Back, in 1975.
Crouch has also coveted a large collection of Dove awards and other industry awards and accolades, testimony to his unique multi-faceted skills and groundbreaking work within the broad umbrella of the Christian music industry.