Edwin Hawkins

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Edwin Reuben Hawkins was born on August 18, 1943 in Oakland, CA. He began playing the piano for church choirs at a very early age. In 1968, at the age of 25, Edwin’s choir recorded the album titled “Let Us Go Into The House Of The Lord”. On this album was a song called “Oh, Happy Day”, which became wildly popular. It’s single sold over 7 million copies within one year!

edwinhawkinssingersEdwin Hawkins talent for composing songs for choirs is truly unmatched. I believe he is the greatest gospel choir director and composer of all time!

Edwin is also part of the Hawkins Family Singers. He is the eldest sibling and the leader of this super-talented family, including his brothers Walter and Daniel, sisters  Lynette, Feddie, Carol, and cousins. They recorded several albums.

Edwin Hawkins also spearheaded an effort to promote gospel songwriters and singers by founding the Music and Arts Seminar, which he and his brother Walter hosted each year starting in 1983. Along with many classes taught by guests from all over, each annual seminar was highlighted by a mass choir recording of songs written by various guest songwriters. Each recording also included at least one song written by Edwin.

Edwin Hawkins has won four Grammy Awards:

  • 1970: Best Soul Gospel Performance – “Oh Happy Day”
  • 1971: Best Soul Gospel Performance – “Every Man Wants to Be Free”
  • 1978: Best Soul Gospel Performance, Contemporary – “Wonderful!”
  • 1993: Best Gospel Choir or Chorus Album – choir director on Edwin Hawkins Music & Arts Seminar Mass Choir

In 2007, Hawkins was inducted into the Christian Music Hall of Fame.


Edwin Hawkins discography, including his works:

1968: Let Us Go into the House of the Lord
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  • “Let Us Go Into The House of the Lord
  • “Jesus, Lover of My Soul”
  • “To My Father’s House”
  • “I’m Going Through”
  • “Oh, Happy Day”
  • “I Heard The Voice Of Jesus”
  • “Early In The Morning”
  • “Joy, Joy”

1969: He’s A Friend Of Mine
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1969: Oh Happy Day (Re-release)
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1969: Jesus, Lover of My Soul
1969: Hebrew Boys
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1969: Lord Don’t Move That Mountain
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1969: Ain’t It Like Him
1970: Live at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam
1970: Candles in the Rain with Melanie Safka
1970: Pray For Peace
1971: More Happ1971: Try the Real Thing with Melanie Safka
1972: Peace Is Blowin’ In The Wind
1972: Children Get Together
1973: I’d Like To Teach the World To Sing
1974: New World
1975: Edwin Hawkins Presents the Matthews Sisters

1976: Wonderful
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1977: The Comforter
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1981: Edwin Hawkins Live With The Oakland Symphony Orchestra
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1981: Imagine Heaven
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1982: Edwin Hawkins Live With The Oakland Symphony Orchestra & The Love Center Choir Volume II
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1983: Edwin Hawkins presents The Music and Arts Seminar Mass Choir
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1984: Angels Will Be Singing with the Music and Arts Seminar Mass Choir
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1985: Have Mercy with the Music and Arts Seminar Mass Choir
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1987: Give Us Peace with the Music and Arts Seminar Mass Choir
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1988: That Name with the Music and Arts Seminar Mass Choir
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1990: Music and Arts Seminar Chicago Mass Choir
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1990: Face to Face
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1991: Music and Arts Seminar Mass Choir: Seminar ’91
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1992: Music and Arts Seminar Mass Choir: Los Angeles
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1995: Music and Arts Seminar Mass Choir: All Things are Possible
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1997: Music and Arts Seminar Mass Choir: Dallas
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1998: Love Is the Only Way
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1998: Music and Arts Seminar Mass Choir: Tampa
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2000: Music and Arts Seminar Mass Choir: Church Time
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2003: Music and Arts Seminar Mass Choir: All The Angels
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2008: Music and Arts Seminar Mass Choir: Testify
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