Skip to main content


Chicago Gospel Legend Dies

A gospel legend died today in Chicago. Grammy winner Albertina Walker was 81.
NOTE: Updated with funeral service information below.


Albertina Walker got her start singing in a church choir at age 4. She was a protégé of Mahalia Jackson and formed the famous group, the Caravans.

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush calls her a "songstress" of the civil rights movement.

RUSH: She always was able to bring us closer to God. No matter who you were, no matter what you thought, no matter what your problems were, when you heard Albertina sing, then you felt closer and bigger and better than you knew you could feel about yourself.

Inspiration 1390 Music Director Effie Rolfe calls Walker the undisputed queen of gospel. Rolfe says Walker launched the careers of many other gospel stars.

Funeral arrangements are pending at Cage Memorial Chapel.

A public viewing is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14, at 
West Point Baptist Church, 3566 S. Cottage Grove Ave., Chicago, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., followed by a 7 p.m. musical tribute at Apostolic  Church of God, 6320 S. Dorchester Ave.

Visitation is at 10 a.m. Friday at West Point Baptist Church, followed by an 11 a.m. celebration of life service.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to the Albertina Walker Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 496021, Chicago, IL 60649

Get the WBEZ App

Download the best live and on-demand public radio experience. Find out more.