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Larnelle Harris

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Kentucky-born singer/songwriter Larnelle Harris rose to fame in the early '80s, becoming one of gospel music's most prominent artists. After training as a vocalist at Western Kentucky University, Harris joined gospel act the Spurrlows on drums before forming his own band, First Gear, a few years later. He made his solo debut in 1975, releasing a handful of albums before winning a Dove Award for his 1981 release, Give Me More Love in My Heart. Two years later, he teamed up with fellow Christian singer Sandi Patty to record "More Than Wonderful," a duet that would become one of Harris' best-known songs. The song netted the duo a Grammy Award, as would their follow-up duet, 1985's "I've Just Seen Jesus." While also serving as a member of the Gaither Vocal Band, Harris' solo success continued throughout the '80s, with other hits like "How Excellent Is Thy Name" and "In It After All." His song "Mighty Spirit" would be featured in a Points of Light Foundation television campaign that was headed by president George H.W. Bush in 1993. Among the many notable performances in his career, Harris would end up singing in both the White House and the Kremlin. A particularly successful run in the '90s would yield Harris three more Dove Awards and an additional Grammy for his 1998 holiday album, Christmas. Over the coming decade, he would continue to record as a solo artist, performing around the world, and also rejoining the Gaither Vocal Group for numerous reunions. Harris was inducted to the Christian Music Hall of Fame in 2009 and is also a member of the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame. ~ Timothy Monger

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July 6, 1947 in Louisville, KY

Years Active:

'70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s