Follow Billboard. All rights reserved. Goodman, who turned 74 on Dec. Born Vestal Freeman, she grew up in Alabama, dreaming of a career as an opera singer. The two were married Nov. During the 50s, Vestal rose to prominence performing with her husband and his brothers, Rusty and Sam, as the Happy Goodman Family. The group recorded three independent albums before forging a year relationship with Word's Canaan Records imprint.
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Vestal Goodman December 13, — December 27, was a singer who performed in the Southern gospel genre for more than half a century. Goodman was the fourth of six children, and she began singing in church as a child. Raised inside the Church of God , her original intent was to study for the Metropolitan Opera , but being raised in church she felt compelled to sing gospel music. She married Howard Goodman , a preacher nine years her senior, on November 7, They had a son Rick, and a daughter Vicki. They pastored churches and sang for congregations across the country.
Vestal Goodman, a matriarch of gospel music whose influence ranged far beyond its traditional audience, died on Saturday in Celebration, Fla. She was The Associated Press reported her death based on information from funeral home officials and her own Web site. The cause was not given. Goodman and her husband, Howard Goodman, known as Happy, who died last year at 81, were cofounders of the Happy Goodman Family act.
Vestal Freeman, singer: born Fyffe, Alabama 13 December ; married Howard Goodman died ; one son, one daughter ; died Celebration, Florida 27 December Vestal Goodman was known to her fans as the "Queen of Gospel" and was, for over 50 years, an iconic presence within the genre's camp meeting-inspired "Southern" style. Performing in her husband's outfit, the Happy Goodman Family, she sold millions of albums, won two Grammy Awards and in was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. An exciting stage performer once described as "a walking, talking electrical storm in a beaded gown", she was known for her elaborate hairdos and an omnipresent white handkerchief that she would wave at audiences.