- Associated Press - Sunday, July 11, 2010

RIPON, CALIF. (AP) - Walter Hawkins, a Grammy Award-winning gospel singer, composer and pastor from Oakland has died.

Family members say Hawkins passed away Sunday at his home in Ripon, Calif. He was 61.

Edwin Hawkins says his younger brother had been battling pancreatic cancer.

Born in Oakland, Walter Hawkins studied for his divinity degree at the University of California, Berkeley, where he recorded his first album entitled “Do Your Best” in 1972.

The next year Hawkins became a pastor and founded the Love Center Church in Oakland.

Friend and family representative Bill Carpenter says Hawkins later recorded a series of albums, earning nine Grammy Award nominations for his work. His “The Lord’s Prayer” won a Grammy in 1980.

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