Browse to know more about Mahalia Jackson’s Age, Bio, wiki, Net Worth, Income, career, Education, and Family. Also know details about Mahalia Jackson’s Parents, Childhood, Relationship, body measurements, Images, and many more.
Mahalia Jackson was a gospel singer. She had become the most influential gospel singers in the world and was known as a singer as well as a civil rights activist.
Mahalia’s childhood days and extended family
Mahalia Jackson is a name that is taken with respect. She was considered the Queen of gospel singing. Born on 26 October 1911 as Mahala Jackson, Mahalia was also a civil rights activist. She was known for her powerful contralto voice. With a nickname of Halie, Mahalia was raised in the Black Pearl section of the Carrollton neighborhood of uptown New Orleans.
- Source: EEW Magazine buzz (Mahalia Jackson)
13 family members stayed in the 3-room house on Pitt Street. Her mother Charity Clark worked as a housemaid and laundress. Her father John was a dockworker and a barber who later became a Baptist Minister.
She had one elder brother and 4 paternal half-siblings. She had bowed legs for which though the surgery was advised, her parents refused it. Her mother expired when she was just 4-5 years of age. She was then raised by her strict maternal Aunt Duke. She was not sent to school. She used to love singing and sang at the local Church.
Mahalia’s musical career
When she was 16, she moved to Chicago, Illinois. She soon joined the local church choir. She toured with them. She met music composer Thomas A. Dorsey who was the Father of Gospel Music. She gained a lot of knowledge and experience from him and worked with him for nearly 14 years. 1931 was the year she recorded her first song which never went public. She signed with Decca Coral Label and recorded a set of records in 1937 which were not so successful.
- Source: AZ Quotes (Mahalia’s quote)
With the label Apollo, she in 1947 released a song record that sold more than 8 million copies. In 1998, this song got the Grammy Hall of Fame honor. This song enhanced her popularity in the whole USA and Europe. She did several concerts. Her orchestra grew and she did more recordings many of which became famous.
She won critical acclaim and performed in various reputed halls and events. She was called Angel of Peace in Paris. Her concerts used to be house-full. She started her radio series on CBS and also in 1954 signed with Columbia Records. Her albums gained high popularity though she was criticized for introducing jazz into the Church. She retired in 1971 with her last performance in Germany. She did some TV appearances.
She opened a beauty parlor and a florist shop and also invested in real estate in Chicago. She also played a vital role in the civil rights movement. In spite of all her international fame, she was subjected to racial prejudice in the US.
Her personal life
Mahalia had married Isaac Lanes Grey Hockenhull (“Ike”) in 1936. He was a graduate of Fisk University and Tuskegee Institute and was 10 years older to her. He used to pressurize her to sing secular songs which she refused. In 1941, tired of the repeated coaxing and also not happy with his addiction to gambling on racehorses, Mahalia divorced him.
- Source: Outlet Historic images (Mahalia with second husband Sigmond)
She has no children from this relationship. Her second husband was Sigmond Galloway from whom she was divorced in 1969. She had said:
“I sing God’s music because it makes me feel free. It gives me hope.”
Mahalia had diabetes mellitus. She died due to cardiac failure and diabetes complications and this occurred at the Little Company of Mary Hospital located in Evergreen Park, Illinois.