Blues artist and religious figure Rev. John Wilkins passed away on Tuesday (October 6) at the age of 76.
A representative for Wilkins’ label, Goner, made the announcement on social media.
“It is with a heavy heart and great sadness to share that Rev John Wilkins passed away this morning,” a spokesperson said on Instagram.
“Our thoughts are with his family, congregation, and friends.
“It was an honor to know the Reverend and get to work with him in the small capacity that we did.”
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IT IS WITH A HEAVY HEART AND GREAT SADNESS TO SHARE THAT REV JOHN WILKINS PASSED AWAY THIS MORNING. OUR THOUGHTS ARE WITH HIS FAMILY, CONGREGATION, AND FRIENDS. IT WAS AN HONOR TO KNOW THE REVEREND AND GET TO WORK WITH HIM IN THE SMALL CAPACITY THAT WE DID. HIS SMILE COULD LIGHT UP THE WHOLE ROOM. WE CHERISH THE MEMORIES OF HIS SHOWS AT OUR FESTIVALS, SHARING HIS SPIRIT WITH FRIENDS FROM ACROSS THE GLOBE WHO WOULD TAKE THAT LIGHT BACK TO THEIR “REAL” LIVES AND HOMETOWNS. REV WILKINS, YOU WERE REALLY SOMETHING. THANK YOU.
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Wilkins’ cause of death is yet to be confirmed. According to a press statement from earlier this year, Wilkins had recently “survived his battle with COVID-19” and had been spending time at home following a month in intensive care.
The son of blues great Robert Wilkins, the reverend was due to celebrate his 77th birthday on October 10.
Wilkins released his second record, ‘Trouble’ on September 18. He recorded the album at Royal Studios in his hometown of Memphis.
‘Trouble’ followed on from Wilkins’ solo debut, 2015’s ‘You Can’t Hurry God’. Prior to his solo career, the reverend sang and played guitar with gospel and blues groups, including the M&N Gospel Singers.
“We all have troubles,” Wilkins said of his latest album’s title in a press release.
“Over the last few years it seemed like every time I turned on the TV or picked up a paper there was a school shooting. There were people hurting others, hurting themselves.
“In the White House there were troubles, nearly nothing getting fixed, leading to more trouble. And look where we are now. But we will find a way.”