Popular gospel musician and arranger Troy Sneed has died after contracting COVID-19.
The 52-year-old, Grammy-nominated singer died April 27 at a hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, due to complications of coronavirus, according to his publicist Bill Carpenter.
“Troy was like a brother to me,” Mike Chandler, CEO of Rejoice! Musical Soul Food radio network, said in a statement. “He was a businessman. He was a husband; he was a father. He was an industry leader so it’s not just my loss it’s a loss to the whole industry.”
Sneed grew up in Perry, Florida. He played football in high school but injuries forced him to forget about pro football dreams. Instead, he went off the college where he minored in music at Florida A&M (FAMU) University. His major was in education.
“He was one of the most talented men in our industry but more importantly Troy was a good person and he did a lot of good work,” Chandler said. “The world is going to miss him.”
Sneed joined the school’s choir and began working towards a career in gospel music career after graduation. Savoy Records executive the Rev. Milton Biggham offered him a job as assistant minister of music at the Georgia Mass Choir, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
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The choir performed with gospel greats such as James Moore, LaShun Pace, Dorothy Norwood, and the Rev. James Cleveland.
Sneed worked on the Youth for Christ 1999 album “Higher.” It was during this time that he arranged music for the renowned choir as the group appeared in Whitney Houston’s film and music compilation “The Preacher’s Wife,” according to Billboard.
“Higher” earned Sneed a Grammy Award nomination.
In 1999, Sneed released his debut solo gospel album, “Call Jesus,” on Savoy Records.
Eventually, he went no business for himself.
In 2003, Sneed and his wife, Emily (they met at FAMU), formed their own recording label, Metro (a combination of their first names). Metro landed a national distribution deal with GoDigi Path.
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Through Metro, Sneed wrote songs and produced projects for other artists, including “Call Jesus” for Bruce Parham and the Arkansas Mass Choir’s hit, “You Alone.”
By 2007, Sneed had released his own song called “Hallelujah,” CNN reported.
Sneed went on to have a dozen songs placed on various Billboard gospel charts. His major hits include “My Heart Says Yes” (2011) and “Work It Out” (2008), which both peaked at No. 2 on Billboard’s Hot Gospel Songs chart. His latest album, “All My Best,” which was released in 2019, featured 12 of his gospel radio songs.
Sneed leaves behind his wife and his four children, Troy Jr., Evany, Trey, and Tyler.