In Memoriam: Daryl Lynn Coley, 1955-2016

Beloved gospel music legend Daryl Coley has succumbed at the age of 60.

Gospel great Daryl Coley passed away on March 15, 2016, while in hospice care, surrounded by his family. As an unrivaled gospel tenor, his smooth Jazz-tinged inflections have graced the recordings of artists across musical genres during his decades-long career as a singer, songwriter, and musical director.

Born in Berkeley, CA on October 30, 1955, and raised in Oakland, CA, Coley, as a child, was influenced by the jazz, classical, and gospel music played in his family’s home, where he also learned to play clarinet and piano. He began his career in gospel in the late 1960’s with Helen Stephens And The Voices Of Christ. In 1977, he joined the Edwin Hawkins Singers, with whom he also played keyboards. He is also known for his collaborations with Rev. James Cleveland and Lady Tramaine Hawkins.

Broadcast Music, Inc.® (BMI®) has described Daryl Coley’s voice as “an inimitable instrument able to fuse musical genres into a unique and mellifluous sound.” He was been awarded with numerous Stellar and Dove awards, as well as Grammy nominations, and he has also worked with other music industry legends such as Stevie Wonder, Nancy Wilson and Philip Bailey. Some of Daryl Coley’s most beloved songs include “He’s Preparing Me,” “When Sunday Comes,” and “Jesus Saves.” Albums include Just Darryl, Praise and Worship, and Beyond the Veil: Live at Bobby Jones Gospel Explosion XIII.

Daryl Coley received a Doctorate of Sacred Music from the Ray of Hope Theological Seminary and Bible College International School of Divinity. He is survived by a loving family, many friends, and a timeless legacy of heartfelt ministry through his gift of music.

Photo of Daryl Coley at the BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards Luncheon, on January 17, 2014, in Nashville; courtesy, BMI, Inc.

“Beyond The Veil” · Daryl Coley; video provided by Universal Music Group.  Many thanks!