Jacksonville-area gospel singer Troy Sneed dies from coronavirus

Jacksonville-area gospel singer Troy Sneed dies from coronavirus
Troy Sneed (Photo shared in media release)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Troy Sneed, a Grammy Award-nominated gospel singer from the Jacksonville area whose career has spanned decades, has died from the coronavirus.

The 52-year-old singer died Monday morning at a Jacksonville hospital from complications of COVID-19, according to a news release.

“Troy was like a brother to me,” Mike Chandler, CEO of Rejoice! Musical Soul Food radio network. “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. 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. The world is going to miss him.”

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Action News Jax’s Dawn Lopez also spoke with a personal friend of Sneed’s, who confirmed the news of his death.

Sneed was born in Perry, Florida, and played football at Florida A & M University, majoring in education and minoring in music.

During his time at FAMU, he was appointed minister of music for the choir. Sneed traveled around the United States with the choir as they performed with gospel luminaries such as James Moore, LaShun Pace, Dorothy Norwood and the Rev. James Cleveland.

Sneed went on to teach at Jacksonville Beach Elementary School until he was offered a position as the Georgia Mass Choir’s Assistant Minister of Music. Over the course of his decade-long tenure, Sneed traveled with the choir, arranged music on their albums and appeared with them in the Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston motion picture “The Preacher’s Wife” in 1996.

Youth for Christ’s 1999 album “Higher” earned Sneed a Grammy Award nomination in 2000. He released his debut solo gospel album, “Call Jesus,” in 1999. In 2003, he and his wife created their own recording label, Emtro, producing gospel radio hits such as the Rev. Rudolph McKissick’s “The Right Place” and Alvin Darling & Celebration’s “All Night.”

Sneed released his most recent album last fall. “All My Best” featured 12 of his greatest gospel radio hits.

Sneed is survived by his wife of 27 years, Emily; and their four children, Troy Jr., Evany, Trey and Tyler.