The family of gospel star Vestal Goodman are in shock after the 74-year-old singer died on vacation in Florida, after developing a case of influenza.

The singer, who turned 74 on 17 December (03), grew up in Alabama, dreaming of a career in the opera.

But, after teaming up with husband HOWARD GOODMAN's family group THE HAPPY GOODMAN FAMILY, she quickly became a beloved gospel voice.

The group were original members of syndicated American TV show THE GOSPEL SINGING JUBILEE and they were inducted into the GOSPEL MUSIC HALL OF FAME in 1998.

Solo, Goodman was the recipient of the GOSPEL MUSIC ASSOCIATION's first Dove Award for Female Vocalist of The Year in 1969. She won a number of other Dove awards and various Grammys throughout her career.

She also recorded two VESTAL + Friends albums, featuring famous fans like Dolly Parton, Vince Gill and George Jones.

05/01/2004 18:10