Gospel singer LaShun Pace passes away at age 60


Popular Gospel singer LaShun Pace passed away Monday, Mar. 21, 2022. Her death was reported by numerous media outlets. Fans of Gospel music felt the loss of the powerhouse soprano whose voice not only hit the right notes, but also conveyed the messages that Gospel fans seek.

The sound and style of LaShun Pace

From the early 1990s on, Pace created albums that reverberated with the strength of her belief. She is known for her version of the Gospel classics, “I Know I Been Changed,” and “There’s A Leak In This Old Building.” By adding her own verses and changing the musicality of the songs, Pace kept the feel of the songs, but with touches of her personality that allowed her to reach scores of listeners.

Pace can be distinguished by her strong soprano voice. The effect of her voice as she makes her way through “There’s A Leak In This Old Building” is chilling. While many recorded versions of the song are moving, Pace’s version makes effective use of the singer’s ringing voice that serves to orient listeners to the feel of the song. Pace’s voice, while clearly in the soprano range, had a depth usually found in lower vocal registers.

Similarly, “I Know I Been Changed” finds Pace using a stuttering effect to portray the physical effects she sang about. Her ability to weave narrative in the course of a song was another endearing quality.

Words like “vibrant” and “talented” are often used to describe female singers. However, both fit here. Pace’s voice is unique, and for those who only know her as a recording artist, she helps to personify the feel of Sunday morning worship services, bringing that feeling whenever and wherever audiences find themselves listening.

Augmented by bass, piano, and drums, Pace’s voice came to define new Gospel singing standards for generations of Gospel fans and performers. Her strong lead never let listeners forget what they were listening to, and was never overwhelmed by the powerful music that backed her.

LaShun Pace: A Legacy in Gospel

Pace began her professional career in the mid-1970s with the group The Anointed Pace Sisters. She was the middle of nine sisters, the oldest of which passed away in 2021. The Pace matriarch, Bettie Ann Pace, passed away in 2020. LaShun Pace was a native of Atlanta, Georgia and she and her family contributed to the Gospel scene there that ultimately inspired Gospel fans across the country.

According to reports, Pace had suffered from kidney disease and had been on dialysis for five years. She passed away from organ failure. She is survived by a daughter and the remaining Pace sisters.

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Dodie Miller-Gould is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana who lives in New York City where she studies creative nonfiction at Columbia University. She has BA and MA degrees in English from Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and an MFA in Fiction from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her research interests include popular music and culture, 1920s jazz, and blues, confessional poetry, and the rhetoric of fiction. She has presented at numerous conferences in rhetoric and composition, and creative writing. Her creative works have appeared in Tenth Muse, Apostrophe, The Flying Island, Scavenger's Newsletter and elsewhere. She has won university-based awards for creative work and literary criticism.

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