Renowned blues and gospel musician Reverend John Wilkins has died at the age of 76.

The popular singer-songwriter from Memphis who fused gospel music, blues, and soul into an eclectic mix passed away on Thursday, October 8th, according to a statement shared by his label, Goner Records.

A Goner Records spokesperson wrote in a post shared to Instagram: “It is with a heavy heart and great sadness to share that [Reverend] John Wilkins passed away this morning. Our thoughts are with his family, congregation, and friends.

“It was an honor to know the Reverend and get to work with him in the small capacity that we did. His smile could light up the whole room.

“We cherish the memories of his shows at our festivals, sharing his spirit with friends from across the globe who would take that light back to their “real” lives and hometowns.

“Rev Wilkins, you were really something. Thank you.”

While Wilkins’ cause of death has yet to be confirmed, it has been confirmed earlier this year (via NME) that he had “survived his battle with COVID-19” and had been at home after a month in intensive care.

The son of influential blues/folk-revival artist Reverend Robert Wilkins, John had a long career spanning several decades and was due to turn 77 on Saturday, October 10th.

Wilkins had recently released his second album, Trouble, which was recorded in his hometown of Memphis.

At the time of Trouble‘s release, Wilkins said of his album: “We all have troubles.

“Over the last few years it seemed like every time I turned on the TV or picked up a paper there was a school shooting. There were people hurting others, hurting themselves.

“In the White House there were troubles, nearly nothing getting fixed, leading to more trouble. And look where we are now. But we will find a way.”

Our deepest condolences to Reverend John Wilkins’ family and friends during this very difficult time.