Joe Ligon of the Mighty Clouds of Joy dies at 80
Singer Joe Ligon, the dynamic frontman of the Grammy-winning gospel group Mighty Clouds of Joy, has died. He was 80.
His booking agent, Ricky DeRae, said Monday that Ligon died on Sunday in Georgia.
Ligon was born in Troy, Alabama, but moved to California and started the gospel quartet in the 1950s. They were influenced by R&B groups like The Temptations, as well as the Rev. Julius Cheeks, a Los Angeles singer known for his baritone voice and onstage antics.
Fronted by the screaming, shouting Ligon, Mighty Clouds of Joy were among the first gospel groups to use an instrumental rhythm section and choreography. They won back-to-back Grammy Awards in 1978 and 1979 for best soul gospel performance, traditional, and best traditional soul gospel album in 1991.
At the 2016 Stellar Awards Ligon was awarded with the AMBASSADOR DR. BOBBY JONES LEGEND AWARD, due to illness he was not able to accept in person.
Funeral Arrangements for gospel legend Willie Joe Ligon, founder and lead singer of The Mighty Clouds of Joy have been set for this week. An All-Star Gospel Musical Celebration honoring his life and music will be held Tuesday, December 27, at 6 p.m., at the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Beaumont, Texas.
Homegoing services will be held Wednesday, December 28, at 11 a.m., at Antioch where the Rev., Dr. John R. Adolph is senior pastor. The Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., will serve as the eulogist and Bishop Neal Roberson will officiate.
Words of comfort, encouragement and memorials may be sent to:
Mrs. Peggy Ligon
c/o Calvary Mortuary ( www.calvarymortuarybeaumont.com )
1225 South Seventh Street
Beaumont, TX 77701
Phone: (409) 838-0159
Ligon passed away on December 11.