Geo. Beverly Shea | Billy Graham singer, 104

George Beverly Shea
George Beverly Shea
Posted: April 18, 2013

George Beverly Shea, 104, a gospel singer and songwriter who was a featured part of the Billy Graham crusades for more than 50 years, died Tuesday, April 16, in Asheville, N.C., after a brief illness, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association told the Associated Press.

"Bev" Shea, who received a lifetime-achievement award at the 2011 Grammy Awards, became the soloist for the Billy Graham Evangelical Team in 1947.

Tall and slim with a resonant baritone, Mr. Shea was known for his straightforward singing style. He rarely left a stage before delivering his version of "How Great Thou Art." He recorded more than 70 albums and won a Grammy Award for Best Gospel Recording in 1965 for Southland Favorites, recorded with Anita Kerr.

Mr. Shea and his first wife, Erma, had two children, Ronald and Elaine. Erma died in 1976 after a long illness. In 1985, he married Karlene Aceto, who worked for the Graham organization. She and his children survive him. - AP

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