Gospel music singer Rance Allen of Monroe, who was known as the “Father of Contemporary Gospel Music,” has died The Church of God in Christ  announced in a statement on Saturday. He was 71.

“Bishop Allen’s unique vocal ministry was an indispensable sound within the Church Of God In Christ and Christendom,” the Pentecostal–Holiness Christian denomination organization said in a statement.

“His gift transcended the boundaries of musical genre as he remained a sought after personality called to perform on global venues.”

Rance Allen and the Rance Allen Group

Mr. Allen, a pianist and guitarist, formed The Rance Allen Group with his brothers Tom, a drummer, and Steve, a guitarist, in 1969, according to a biography on his website.

The group was nominated for Grammy Awards in 1981, 1991 and 2004 and inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1998.

In 2018 the group won Stellar Awards  named Traditional Duo/Chorus Group of the Year for their recording “Live from San Francisco.”