The family of Larry Norman announced today on LarryNorman.com that the singer passed away on Sunday morning after a lengthy battle with heart problems. Surrounded by friends in his last days, the pioneer of Christian rock died peacefully with his wife and brother by his side.
Norman was originally in a secular group called People, which released a hit song called “I Love You”. After hearing artists like Elvis “stealing” the music of the black church choirs, Norman decided to “steal” it back. Upon This Rock debuted in 1969, which is believed to be the first Christian rock album ever released. Norman went on to realize many more albums, but more than that, he started that Christian rock revolution which was embraced by the Jesus movement of the 60’s and 70’s.
Two of his best-known songs “I Wish We’d All Been Ready” and “Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music?” have been covered by many artists. Norman was known for his story-telling, on-stage banter, revolutionary lyrics, and skill on both piano and guitar. Inspiring many young musicians and challenging the church’s traditional ideas of music, Larry Norman managed to change the world–on guitar string at a time.
Read my personal thoughts and stories about Larry Norman here.