Mahalia Jackson
Mahalia Jackson

Celebrity Profile

Name: Mahalia Jackson
Occupation: Gospel Singer
Gender: Female
Birth Day: October 26, 1911
Death Date: Jan 27, 1972 (age 60)
Age: Aged 60
Birth Place: New Orleans, United States
Zodiac Sign: Scorpio

Social Accounts

Height: in centimeters - N/A
Weight: in kg - N/A
Eye Color: N/A
Hair Color: N/A
Blood Type N/A
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Mahalia Jackson

Mahalia Jackson was born on October 26, 1911 in New Orleans, United States (60 years old). Mahalia Jackson is a Gospel Singer, zodiac sign: Scorpio. Find out Mahalia Jacksonnet worth 2020, salary 2020 detail bellow.


Her song "Move On Up a Little Higher" was given the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in the gospel category, inducted in 1998.

Does Mahalia Jackson Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Mahalia Jackson died on Jan 27, 1972 (age 60).

Net Worth

Net Worth 2020

$24 Million

Salary 2020

Not known

Mahalia Jackson Salary Detail

Jackson's last album was What The World Needs Now (1969). The next year, in 1970, she and Louis Armstrong performed "Just a Closer Walk with Thee" and "When the Saints Go Marching In" together. She ended her career in 1971 with a concert in Germany, and when she returned to the U.S., made one of her final television appearances on The Flip Wilson Show. She devoted much of her time and energy to helping others. She established the Mahalia Jackson Scholarship Foundation for young people who wanted to attend college. For her efforts in helping international understanding, she received the Silver Dove Award. Chicago remained her home until the end of her life. She opened a beauty parlor and a florist shop with her earnings, while also investing in real estate ($100,000 a year at her peak).

Before Fame

She started singing at Mount Mariah Baptist Church.

Biography Timeline


Mahala Jackson was born on October 26, 1911, and nicknamed "Halie". She grew up in the Black Pearl section of the Carrollton neighborhood of uptown New Orleans. The three-room dwelling on Pitt Street housed thirteen people and a dog. This included Little Mahala (named after her aunt, Mahala Clark-Paul whom the family called Aunt Duke); her brother Roosevelt Hunter, whom they called Peter; and her mother Charity Clark, who worked as both a maid and a laundress. Several aunts and cousins lived in the house as well. Aunt Mahala was given the nickname "Duke" after proving herself the undisputed "boss" of the family. The maternal side of her family (the Clarks) consisted of her mother's siblings: Isabell, Mahala, Boston, Porterfield, Hannah, Alice, Rhoda, Bessie, their children, grandchildren, and patriarch Rev. Paul Clark, a former slave. Jackson's father. She also grew up with her maternal cousins Paul Clark Jr., Amelia Clark and Dorothy Mae Clark (who was listed in her will). John A. Jackson Sr., was a stevedore (dockworker) and a barber who later became a Baptist minister. He fathered five other children besides Mahalia: Wilmon (older) and then Yvonne, Edna, Pearl and Johnny Jr. (by his marriage shortly after Halie's birth). Her father's sister, Jeanette Jackson-Burnett, and her husband, Josie, were vaudeville entertainers. Their son, her cousin Edward, shared stories and records of Ma Rainey, Mamie Smith and Bessie Smith, whose voices and blues singing impressed her so much that she would imitate their ways of bending and coloring notes. (Her voice and singing style would be compared to Bessie Smith's all her life.)

Three days later, a thousand miles away, the scene repeated itself: again the long lines, again the silent tribute, again the thousands filling the great hall of the Rivergate Convention Center in downtown New Orleans this time. Mayor Moon Landrieu and Louisiana Governor John J. McKeithen joined gospel singer Bessie Griffin. Dick Gregory praised Jackson's "moral force" as the main reason for her success. Lou Rawls sang "Just a Closer Walk With Thee". "The funeral cortège of 24 limousines drove slowly past her childhood place of worship, Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, where her recordings played through loudspeakers, then made its way to Providence Memorial Park in Metairie, Louisiana, where, finally, Mahalia was entombed". Despite the inscription of her birth year on her gravestone as 1912, she was actually born in 1911. Among her surviving relatives are her great-nephews, former NBA basketball player Danny Granger and soul artist Scotty Granger.


In 1931, at the age of 20, Jackson moved to Chicago, Illinois, in the midst of the Great Migration. After her first Sunday school service, where she gave an impromptu performance of her favorite song, "Hand Me Down My Silver Trumpet, Gabriel", she was invited to join the Greater Salem Baptist Church Choir. She began touring the city's churches and surrounding areas with the Johnson Gospel Singers, one of the earliest professional gospel groups. In Chicago, Jackson met the composer Thomas A. Dorsey, known as the Father of Gospel Music. He gave her musical advice, and in 1939 they began a five-year association of touring, with Jackson singing Dorsey's songs in church programs and at conventions. His "Take My Hand, Precious Lord" became her signature song.


In 1936, Jackson married Isaac Lanes Grey Hockenhull, a graduate of Fisk University and Tuskegee Institute who was 10 years her senior. She refused to sing secular music, a pledge she would keep throughout her professional life. She was frequently offered money to do so and she divorced Isaac in 1941 because of his unrelenting pressure on her to sing secular music and his addiction to gambling on racehorses.


Early in her Chicago years, Jackson recorded "You Better Run, Run, Run". Not much is known about this recording and no publicly known copies exist. Biographer Laurraine Goreau cites that it was also around this time she added the "i" to her name, changing it from Mahala to Mahalia, pronounced /məˈheɪliə/. At the age of 25, her second set of records was recorded on May 21, 1937, under the Decca Coral label, accompanied by Estelle Allen (piano), in order: "God's Gonna Separate The Wheat From The Tares", "My Lord", "Keep Me Everyday" and "God Shall Wipe All Tears Away". Financially, these were not successful, and Decca let her go.


In 1947, Jackson signed up with the Apollo label, and in 1948, recorded the William Herbert Brewster song "Move On Up a Little Higher", a recording so popular stores could not stock enough copies to meet demand, selling an astonishing eight million copies. (The song was later honored with the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1998.) The success of this record rocketed her to fame in the U.S., and soon after, in Europe. During this time she toured as a concert artist, appearing more frequently in concert halls and less often in churches. As a consequence of this change in her venues, her arrangements expanded from piano and organ to orchestral accompaniments.


In 1950, Jackson became the first gospel singer to perform at Carnegie Hall when Joe Bostic produced the Negro Gospel and Religious Music Festival. She started touring Europe in 1952 and was hailed by critics as the "world's greatest gospel singer". In Paris she was called the Angel of Peace, and throughout the continent she sang to capacity audiences. The tour, however, had to be cut short due to exhaustion. She began a radio series on CBS and signed to Columbia Records in 1954. A writer for DownBeat music magazine stated on November 17, 1954: "It is generally agreed that the greatest spiritual singer now alive is Mahalia Jackson." Her debut album for Columbia was The World's Greatest Gospel Singer, recorded in 1954, followed by a Christmas album called Sweet Little Jesus Boy and Bless This House in 1956.


Jackson played an important role during the civil rights movement. In August 1956, she met Ralph Abernathy and Martin Luther King, Jr., at the National Baptist Convention. A few months later, both King and Abernathy contacted her about coming to Montgomery, Alabama, to sing at a rally to raise money for the bus boycott. They also hoped she would inspire the people who were getting discouraged with the boycott.

Despite death threats, Jackson agreed to sing in Montgomery. Her concert was on December 6, 1956. By then, the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled in Browder v. Gayle that bus segregation was unconstitutional. In Montgomery, the ruling was not yet put into effect, so the bus boycott continued. At this concert she sang "I've Heard of a City Called Heaven", "Move On Up a Little Higher" and "Silent Night". There was a good turnout at the concert and they were happy with the amount of money raised. However, when she returned to the Abernathy's home, it had been bombed. The boycott finally ended on December 21, 1956, when federal injunctions were served, forcing Montgomery to comply with the court ruling.


King and Abernathy continued to protest segregation. In 1957, they founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). The first major event sponsored by the SCLC was the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom in Washington, D.C., on May 17, 1957, the third anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision. From this point forward, Jackson appeared often with King, singing before his speeches and for SCLC fundraisers. In a 1962 SCLC press release, he wrote she had "appeared on numerous programs that helped the struggle in the South, but now she has indicated that she wants to be involved on a regular basis". Jesse Jackson said when King called on her, she never refused, traveling with him to the deepest parts of the segregated South.


With her mainstream success, Jackson was criticized by some gospel purists who complained about her hand-clapping and foot-stomping and about her bringing "jazz into the church". She had many notable accomplishments during this period, including her performance of many songs in the 1958 film St. Louis Blues, singing "Trouble of the World" in 1959's Imitation of Life, and recording with Percy Faith. She was the main attraction in the first gospel music showcase at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1957, which was organized by Joe Bostic and recorded by the Voice of America and performed again in 1958 (Newport 1958). She was also present at the opening night of Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music in December 1957. In 1961, she sang at John F. Kennedy's inaugural ball. She recorded her second Christmas album Silent Night (Songs for Christmas) in 1962. By this time, she had also become a familiar face to British television viewers as a result of short films of her performing that were occasionally shown.

Jackson's music was played widely on gospel and Christian radio stations, such as Family Radio. Her good friend Martin Luther King Jr. said, "A voice like this one comes not once in a century, but once in a millennium." She was a close friend of Doris Akers, one of the most prolific gospel composers of the 20th century. In 1958, they cowrote the hit "Lord, Don't Move the Mountain". Mahalia also sang many of Akers' own compositions such as "God Is So Good to Me", "God Spoke to Me One Day", "Trouble", "Lead On, Lord Jesus" and "He's a Light Unto My Pathway", helping Akers to secure her position as the leading female Gospel composer of that time. In addition to her singing career, she mentored the legendary soul singer Aretha Franklin. Jackson was also good friends with Dorothy Norwood and fellow Chicago-based gospel singer Albertina Walker, and she discovered a young Della Reese. On the 20th anniversary of her death, Smithsonian Folkways Recording commemorated her with the album I Sing Because I'm Happy, which includes interviews about her childhood conducted by Jules Scherwin.


At the March on Washington in 1963, Jackson sang in front of 250,000 people "How I Got Over" and "I Been 'Buked and I Been Scorned". Martin Luther King Jr. made his "I Have a Dream" speech there. She also sang "Take My Hand, Precious Lord" at his funeral after he was assassinated in 1968. She sang to crowds at the 1964 New York World's Fair and was accompanied by "wonderboy preacher" Al Sharpton. She toured Europe again in 1961 (Recorded Live in Europe 1961), 1963–64, 1967, 1968 and 1969. In 1970, she performed for Liberian President William Tubman.

At the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963, Jackson performed "I Been 'Buked and I Been Scorned", before King gave his "I Have a Dream" speech. Toward the end of the speech, he departed from his prepared text for a partly improvised peroration on the theme "I have a dream", prompted by Jackson's cry: "Tell them about the dream, Martin!"


Mahalia Jackson was inducted as a Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois and awarded the Order of Lincoln (the State's highest honor) by the Governor of Illinois in 1967 in the area of The Performing Arts.


Jackson's last album was What The World Needs Now (1969). The next year, in 1970, she and Louis Armstrong performed "Just a Closer Walk with Thee" and "When the Saints Go Marching In" together. She ended her career in 1971 with a concert in Germany, and when she returned to the U.S., made one of her final television appearances on The Flip Wilson Show. She devoted much of her time and energy to helping others. She established the Mahalia Jackson Scholarship Foundation for young people who wanted to attend college. For her efforts in helping international understanding, she received the Silver Dove Award. Chicago remained her home until the end of her life. She opened a beauty parlor and a florist shop with her earnings, while also investing in real estate ($100,000 a year at her peak).

In 1970, she guest-starred on episode 56 of Sesame Street, singing "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands", followed by Gordon Robinson (played by Matt Robinson) finding hidden E's.


Jackson died on January 27, 1972, at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park, Illinois, of heart failure and diabetes complications. Two cities paid tribute: Chicago and New Orleans. Beginning in Chicago, outside the Greater Salem Baptist Church, 50,000 people filed silently past her mahogany, glass-topped coffin in final tribute to the queen of gospel. The next day, as many people who could—6,000 or more—filled every seat and stood along the walls of a city public concert hall, the Arie Crown Theater of McCormick Place, for a two-hour funeral service. Her pastor, Rev. Leon Jenkins, Mayor Richard J. Daley and Mrs. Coretta Scott King eulogized her during the Chicago funeral as "a friend – proud, black and beautiful". Sammy Davis Jr. and Ella Fitzgerald paid their respects. Joseph H. Jackson, president of the National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., Inc., delivered the eulogy at the Chicago funeral. Aretha Franklin closed the Chicago rites with a moving rendition of "Precious Lord, Take My Hand".


Jackson was posthumously inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, a special Grammy award established in 1973 to honor artists whose recordings are at least twenty-five years old and have "qualitative or historical significance". Jackson is a three-time inductee as of 2015.


American Idol winner and Grammy Award-winning R&B singer Fantasia Barrino has been cast to play Jackson in a biographical film about her life. It will be based on the 1993 book Got to Tell It: Mahalia Jackson, Queen of Gospel. It is said to be directed by Euzhan Palcy, according to The Hollywood Reporter.


In December 2008, she was inducted into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.


A prominent namesake in her native New Orleans is the Mahalia Jackson Theater of the Performing Arts, which was remodeled and reopened on January 17, 2009, with a gala ceremony featuring Plácido Domingo, Patricia Clarkson, and the New Orleans Opera directed by Robert Lyall.

Family Life

Mahalia married Isaac Hockenhull in 1936, and, after their divorce in 1964, she married Sigmond Galloway.

🎂 Upcoming Birthday

Currently, Mahalia Jackson is 111 years, 3 months and 4 days old. Mahalia Jackson will celebrate 112th birthday on a Thursday 26th of October 2023. Below we countdown to Mahalia Jackson upcoming birthday.


Recent Birthday Highlights

103rd birthday - Sunday, October 26, 2014

Happy Birthday, Mahalia Jackson!

Rare is the singer who can sing with verve and power and fill a concert hall with such emotion that hearers are moved to tears. Rarer still is the singer who can effect the same response in the midst of a humble storefront church, in the soaring environs of massive cathedrals, on the steps of the Li

Mahalia Jackson trends


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