Mahalia Jackson Biography- Early Life, Famous Gospel Song & Death

Mahalia Jackson

When you are talking about pop music and gospel music, it is no doubt that the name Mahalia Jackson is one of the most renowned and legendary voices. Her accomplishments in the music industry have made her a legendary singer and she has been honored and praised throughout her career. Mahalia Jackson was an American gospel singer and civil rights, activist. She is often referred to as the “Queen of Gospel” and was a central figure in the civil rights movement.

Jackson was born in the United States. Her mother died when she was five years old, and she was raised by her father and grandparents. As a child, she sang in the children’s choir at her church. When she was 14 years old, she began touring with the Black Gospel Quartet. This blog will explore her life and the impact she had on gospel music.

Mahalia Jackson Biography Born place, Early life, and education  

Mahalia Jackson was born in a poor family on October 26, 1911, in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is the daughter of Her father, John A. Jackson Sr, and her mother, Charity Clark. She Grew up in a religious household, and Jackson was exposed to gospel music at an early age. She began singing in her church choir when she was just six years old.

As a teenager, Jackson traveled with her father to preach at churches around the country. It was during this time that she began to develop her powerful vocal style. After graduating from high school, Jackson enrolled in Madame C.J. Walker’s beauty school in Chicago. However, she soon left school to pursue a career in music.

In the early 1930s, Jackson made her first recordings with the Pilgrim Travelers and the Soul Stirrers. She quickly gained popularity for her soulful renditions of gospel standards and Negro spirituals. In 1950, she released her first solo album, “Songs of Faith,” which included the hit single “Move On Up a Little Higher.”

Jackson continued to enjoy success throughout the 1950s and 1960s with such hits as “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” and “Amazing Grace.” In 1971, she was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. She continued to perform and record until her death from cancer on January 27, 1972.

Mahalia Jackson’s Family, Husband, and Children 

Mahalia Jackson was born in the United States. Her father, John A. Jackson, Sr. was a dockworker and barber before becoming a Baptist minister. and mother Charity Clark, died when she was five years old. Mahalia was raised by her aunt, Duke Ellington’s sister-in-law Lucy Mack.

At age six, Mahalia started singing in the children’s choir at the local church where her father preached. When she was a teenager, she joined the adult choir and began touring with them throughout the South. It was during this time that she honed her skills as a gospel singer and developed her powerful vocal style.

Mahalia Jackson Did 2 times married first she married Isaac Hockenhull in 1936 but soon this couple got divorce in1941), after the divorce, she did marry to Sigmond Galloway in 1964 but soon this couple also got divorced within 3 years in1967), and Miss Jackson, who had two divorces due to this she had no children after just three years. Miss Jackson remained single for the rest of her life.

Despite her struggles, Mahalia continued to sing and share her gift with the world. She recorded over two dozen albums and toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe.  

About Mahalia Jackson’s music career  


The first stage of Mahalia Jackson’s musical career. At age four, she began singing in the children’s choir and by age six, she was a soloist. To help make ends meet, Mahalia quit school and began working as a maid. 

Jackson originally gained widespread public recognition during a cross-country gospel tour in the 1930s, performing songs like “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” and “I Can Put My Trust in Jesus.” the year of her debut recording, Despite her difficult circumstances, Mahalia continued to pursue her love of music.

She joined the Greater Harvest Baptist Church choir and began touring with them throughout the South. It was during one of these tours that Mahalia met Thomas A. Dorsey, considered the father of black gospel music. Dorsey helped Mahalia develop her vocal style and soon she was singing at churches and clubs all over Chicago.

Mahalia’s big break came in 1950 when she was asked to sing at the National Baptist Convention in Detroit. Her performance brought the house down and launched her into superstardom. From that point on, Mahalia Jackson was in high demand as a gospel singer. She toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe and recorded numerous albums of both traditional gospel songs and secular material including “God Bless America” and “We Shall Overcome.”

What is gospel singing?  

Gospel music is a musical genre that emerged in the United States in the early 19th century. It is characterized by its use of Christian lyrics, vocal harmony, and a call-and-response format. Gospel music has been a staple of American culture for centuries, and its influence can be seen in other genres of music such as soul, R&B, and hip-hop.

Gospel music evolved from African-American spirituals and hymns. The genre began to take shape in the early 1900s when artists such as Mahalia Jackson and Thomas A. Dorsey started to fuse traditional Christian lyrics with blues melodies. Gospel music became popular during the Civil Rights Movement, as it provided a way for African Americans to express their faith and struggles.

People of many ethnicities and beliefs now love gospel music. It continues to be an important part of American culture, and its influence can be heard in many different genres of music.

What makes Mahalia Jackson famous for her gospel singing?

Mahalia Jackson began singing gospel music as a young child at the Mount Moriah Baptist Church. Jackson rose to prominence in the 1930s and 1940s with her soulful and powerful voice. She recorded several hit gospel songs, including “Move On Up a Little Higher” and “Take My Hand, Precious Lord.” Jackson also became known for her civil rights activism, performing at several rallies and marches during the 1960s.  

List of Mahalia Jackson’s famous songs  

 Some of Mahalia Jackson’s most famous songs include:
“O Holy Night”
“What Child Is This?”
“Silver Bells”
“No Room at The Inn”
“O Come, All Ye Faithful”
“O Little Town of Bethlehem”
“A Star Stood Still (Song of The Nativity)”
“Hark! The Herald Angel Sing”
“The Holy Babe”
“Sweet Little Jesus Boy”
“The First Noel” etc and many more. 

What we can learn from Mahalia Jackson’s career

If you are a singer, a songwriter, or just love music, then you should know about Mahalia Jackson. She was a beautiful singer and a great songwriter too. She was a black gospel singer who also sang for the well-known Elvis Presley and was also his friend. She is known as the Queen of gospel music and has sold over million records worldwide.

She was a very humble woman who never had any formal musical training before she started singing. There are many lessons to be learned from Mahalia Jackson’s life, but one of the most important is how she changed the world by spreading the word of Jesus.

Mahalia Jackson’s Net Worth?

Mahalia Jackson, the gospel singer who passed away at the age of 60 in 1972, is estimated to be worth $1 million. Her net worth is calculated by taking her wealth and subtracting her expenses. Her estimated wealth includes her house in Chicago, her albums, and her gospel records, as well as the royalties she earned from them.


Mahalia Jackson is a singer and civil rights activist who has been in the spotlight for her music and her activism. Her song “Move on Up a Little Higher” was one of the first African-American protest songs and is considered an anthem for racial equality.

Despite her success and her position as an icon for African Americans and other minorities, there have been many controversies surrounding her. The controversies mainly center on her relationship with white people and her use of African references.

Mahalia Jackson Awards and Achievements

The Mahalia Jackson Awards and Achievements is a series of events held by The Recording Academy to recognize the achievement of individuals and groups in the music industry.

Mahalia Jackson was the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award, a Grammy Award for Best Inspirational Performance, a Grammy Award for Best Soul Gospel Performance, a Grammy Award for Best Gospel Performance by a Duo or Group, and many more.

Mahalia Jackson Health Issues and Death?

Mahalia Jackson was a gospel singer and civil rights, activist. She was a member of the gospel greats, the last of the “big three” female gospel singers. She died on 27 January 1972, at the age of 60, at the OSF Little Company of Mary Medical Center Emergency Room, Evergreen Park, Illinois, United States. There are many reasons why she died and her health issues. The causes of her death are unknown, but she died of heart disease.  

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