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Renowned Gospel Legend Ben Speer Passes Away

We regret to report that Gospel music icon Ben Speer has passed away. Ben is a legend in Southern Gospel Music and will be missed greatly.

The following was taken from Ben’s wife’s Facebook page:

I’m so broken hearted to tell everyone that Ben left me this morning at 12:52a.m.. I will have details and arrangements as soon as I can. I’ll be turning my phone over to my mama for those trying to reach me. I’m exhausted and everything feels and looks so different and empty without him by my side. I loved him with all my heart and half on me is gone forever.”

Former Speer Family member Daryl Williams stated, “I am so sorry to hear of the passing of my friend, Ben Speer. The Speer Family has played such a special part in my life. Please keep Ben’s family in your prayers during these next few difficult days. I first met Ben Speer as an Employer. He was my Boss, Band Mate and Mentor. He was my Instructor in the Music Business, and my first Record Producer. Though he never officially held the title as being my ‘Agent’, there were many times he acted on behalf of my music career. He was personally responsible for me signing my first record contract with Homeland Records, back in 1995. It was because of Ben that I got to appear on over 20 Gaither Homecoming Videos. But the title he held that I cherished the most was, that was my ‘Friend’. Rest in peace my friend.”

Please pray for the family of Ben Speer. We will update when his final arrangements are announced.

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Formed over 19 years ago by Deon & Susan Unthank originally as SoGospelNews.com, the site was birthed from an email discussion group by the same name. The SoGospelNews email discussion list was created by the Unthanks after the Singing News shut down its extremely popular discussion list. SoGospelNews started as a simple webpage listing artists, fans, individuals, etc. that were avid supporters of the newly formed SoGospelNews talk list. The site eventually took on printing news for Southern Gospel artists, and eventually took on reviewing the latest recordings from both signed and independent artists within the small genre. SoGospelNews became the most viewed Southern Gospel website on the Internet with over 4,000,000 hits per month.

The Unthank family are now involved in the site, as well as the addition of over two dozen staff writers. The website is based out of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. In April 2010, SoGospelNews changed its name to AbsolutelyGospel.com. The name change allows them to cover news items of not only Southern Gospel, but also Country Gospel, Inspirational, and Black Gospel.

On January 5, 2011, Susan Unthank passed away, leaving the website in control of Deon, their son, Chris, and their daughter Amy.

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