Gospel star Bishop Rance Allen dead at 71

National

Gospel Giants Kirk Franklin, left, and Rance Allen, right, share in a gospel song at the annual “Celebration of Gospel” presented by BET Networks on Wednesday Dec. 10, 2008 in Los Angeles, Calif. at the Orpheum Theatre. (AP Photo/Earl Gibson III)

NEW YORK (AP) — Gospel star Rance Allen, whose Rance Allen Group drew upon contemporary sounds for such 1970s hits as “Ain’t No Need of Crying” and “I Belong to You” and anticipated such crossover gospel performers as the Winans and Amy Grant, has died at age 71.

Allen died early Saturday while recovering from a “medical procedure” at Heartland ProMedica in Sylvania, Ohio. Allen was a longtime Toledo, Ohio resident and most recently bishop for Church of God in Christ for the Michigan Northwestern Harvest Jurisdiction.

A native of Monroe, Michigan, Allen was a singer, songwriter and musician who formed his group with his brothers.

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