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article imageGeorge Beverly Shea, singer for Billy Graham, is 100 years-old

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By Cynthia Trowbridge     Feb 3, 2009 in Religion
On Sunday February 1 George Beverly Shea turned 100. He sang in the Billy Graham Crusades and it was often said he was "America's Beloved Gospel Singer."
George Beverly Shea with his famous baritone voice was a part of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Team.
He was the guest of honor Monday at a private gathering at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove in Asheville, North Carolina. Family and friends were there to honor him.
In comments obtained by Worthy News, Shea said, "On the ladder of life, I have reached rung 100, and I can see the scenery a little better than those who are still climbing."
Last year when he was 99 he took part in Franklin Graham's Festivals in several parts of the country. Organizers said that Shea has joined the third generation of the Grahams by singing at the Will Graham Celebrations in the United States.
Shea was born in Winchester, Ontario on February 1, 1909. His father was the minister of a Wesleyan Methodist church. He first sang publicly in his father's church.
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), said, "Between Crusade, radio, and television dates in many countries, he has sung hundreds of concerts and recorded more than 70 albums of sacred music."
Billy Graham said of Shea, "Bev was the very first person I asked to join me in evangelism. I have sometimes said that I would feel lost getting up to preach if Bev were not there to prepare the way through an appropriate song. I will always be grateful not only for his musical contributions to our Crusades but also for his warm spirit and his personal friendship over the years."
Because of his contributions to Gospel music, Shea was inducted into the National Religious Broadcasting Hall of Fame in February 1996 and the Gospel Music Hall of Fame by the Gospel Music Association in 1978. He has been nominated for 10 Grammy Awards and won one in 1965.
Since the 1920s Shea also had a career in network radio. According to BGEA Shea holds the "the world record" for singing to the most people through Billy Graham's worldwide Crusades. He has sung in front of an estimated 200 million people according to news sources.
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