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Legendary gospel singer/songwriter Jessy Dixon died on Monday at his Chicago home. He was 73.

Dixon introduced his energetic style of gospel music to wider audiences by serving as pop singer Paul Simon’s opening act, reports the Associated Press.

During a career that spanned five decades, Dixon wrote songs for several popular singers, including jazz and rhythm and blues singer Randy Crawford. He later wrote songs performed by Cher, Diana Ross, Natalie Cole and Amy Grant. Dixon also played keyboard with Earth Wind and Fire and guitarist Phillip Upchurch.

Born in San Antonia, Dixon began  his gospel career with gospel music legend James Cleveland, who persuaded him to move to Chicago to join his group, the Gospel Chimes, as both a singer and pianist.

Several of Dixon’s early songs have become church classics, including “Sit At His Feet and be Blessed,” “These Old Heavy Burdens” and “I Love to Praise His Name.”

His more recent compositions gained him even wider acceptance. Dixon’s “I Am Redeemed,” released in 1993, lingered on Billboard magazine’s gospel chart for more than five years. Dixon released five gold records and garnered several Grammy nominations during his career.

Dixon is survived by a brother and sister.

Read more here.

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