Deborah McCrary, singer for The McCrary Sisters, dead at 67

The McCrary Sisters released four acclaimed gospel albums and performed alongside such artists as Donnie McClurkin and Carrie Underwood.

Deborah McCrary, the singer with the gospel vocal group The McCrary Sisters, has died at age 67. While her cause of death is still unknown, the group confirmed that she passed away on Wednesday, as reported by People.

“​​It is with deep sorrow that we share the news of the passing of our beloved sister Deborah,” The McCrary Sisters said Thursday in a statement. Rounder Records, the music label that released the group’s 2019 A Very McCrary Christmas album, also revealed the vocalist’s death via Twitter.

Deborah McCrary is shown onstage while performing with her singing siblings at the 13th annual Americana Music Association Honors and Awards Show in September 2014, in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

“We are saddened by the news of Deborah McCrary’s passing,” they tweeted. “Our hearts go out to her family during this difficult time.”

The McCrary Sisters officially started their singing group in 2010 with the release of their debut album, Our Journey. This was followed by 2013’s All the Way, 2015’s Let’s Go, then A Very McCrary Christmas. Deborah was considered the deep-voiced member of the group.

Gospel greats The McCrary Sisters — (from left) Alfreda McCrary, Ann McCrary, Regina McCrary and Deborah McCrary — pose backstage at the 2019 Americana Honors & Awards in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo: Erika Goldring/Getty Images)

The McCrary Sister’s final single with Deborah was last year’s “Amazing Grace.” The siblings took the traditional hymnal and modified it by singing it over the music of “House of the Rising Sun.”

The sisters — daughters of gospel musician and pastor Samuel H. “Sam” McCrary, who sang with The Fairfield Four — have also recorded with an array of talented artists, as stated on their website. The list includes Donnie McClurkin, Sheryl Crow, The Black Keys, Carrie Underwood, and Robert Randolph, among others.

Deborah McCrary was born on June 17, 1954, the second eldest of the four sisters. She would later sing with Elvis Presley and Isaac Hayes — and was even a member of the Grammy Award-nominated BCM Mass Choir.

When the opportunity came for her to sing with sisters Ann, Regina and Alfreda, she was working as a nurse at the time and was reluctant, according to Ann, her elder.

During an interview with The Herald, the oldest of the four sisters spoke about Deborah’s resilience, and how she continued singing with the group after suffering a stroke in 2012.

“I really believe that music has healing powers,” said Ann McCrary, “and for Deborah, being involved in singing with us again has been a blessing.”

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