Edwin Reuben Hawkins was an American gospel musician, pianist, choir master, composer, and arranger. He was one of the originators of the urban contemporary gospel sound. He was probably best known for his version of "Oh Happy Day", which was included on the Songs of the Century list. Edwin Hawkins made a second foray into the charts exactly one year later, backing folk singer Melanie on "Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)". For Disney, his version of "Oh Happy Day" was featured in Secretariat and in Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit.
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