Troy Sneed, a Grammy-nominated singer, producer and label executive who had more than a half-dozen albums and 10 singles hit the gospel charts during a 20-year career, has died of coronavirus. He was 52. His publicist Bill Carpenter said Sneed died early Monday at a hospital in Jacksonville, FL.
Sneed began his singing career with the Georgia Mass Choir and appeared with the group in the 1996 Denzel Washington-Whitney Houston movie The Preacher’s Wife. He also was the arranger for the choir’s albums and would spend a decade working with the group. He earned a Grammy nomination for Best Gospel Choir or Chorus Album for 1999’s Higher by Youth for Christ and produced the 400-voice group’s single “The Struggle Is Over,” which topped Billboard’s Hot Gospel Songs chart in 2006.
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His solo career saw Sneed hit No. 2 on that chart twice — with “Work It Out” (2008) and “My Heart Says Yes” (2011) — and No. 3 with “Hallelujah” in 2007. He had two other top 10 hits on the Billboard Gospel Songs chart, most recently “Kept by His Grace” three years ago.
He also put seven discs Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums chart from 2005-17, peaking at No. 2 with 2015’s Awesome God and No. 3 with Taking It Back (2017).
Born on December 14, 1967, in Perry, FL, Sneed played football and sang in the choir at Florida A&M before working as a teacher and starting his music career in 1999. He and his wife Emily in 2003 launched Emtro Gospel (later Emtro Music Group), and five years later it ranked among the gospel industry’s most outstanding labels, according to Billboard’s. Sneed was named as one of Billboard’s top three gospel producers for two consecutive years in 2007 and 2008.
The label has had numerous gospel hits from the likes of Alvin Darling, Bonafide Praisers, Bishop Bruce Parham and Bishop Rudolph McKissick.
Sneed and his son Troy Jr. started a second label, T-Sneed Records, in 2007.
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