Tom Kelley/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Jessy Dixon onstage in 1970.
Jessy Dixon onstage in 1970. Tom Kelley/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
A global ambassador of gospel music has died. Jessy Dixon died Monday at his home in Chicago, according to his sister. Dixon recorded five gold albums and built an international following, especially in Europe. He was 73 years old.
Dixon was trained as a classical pianist and in the gospel traditions of Chicago's South Side, where he grew up. He brought gospel to stages both secular and sacred — from Radio City Music Hall to a packed London ministry a few years ago.
Dixon wrote "I Am Redeemed" and a handful of other classics. He spent much of the 1970s touring the world as Paul Simon's opening act. Dixon prided on himself on bringing new audiences to gospel, especially abroad, but regretted, he once said, never working with Aretha Franklin.