Albertina Walker, a songstress so legendary she's known as the Queen of Gospel Music, died Friday morning at 4:30 at the age of 81. The Chicago native began her amateur career singing in her church choir at the young age of 4 and, after being urged into the music business by her mentor, Mahalia Jackson, went on to record 60 albums over the course of her 60-year professional career. Walker, who founded the Caravans, performed for the last three U.S. presidents as well as Nelson Mandela.

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Lauren is a former Deputy Editor of The Root.