Chicago singer and songwriter Jessy Dixon, whose extensive travels helped popularize gospel music outside the United States, has died.
Miriam Dixon says her brother died Tuesday morning at his Chicago home. She says he had been sick. He was 73.
Dixon first introduced his energetic gospel style that combines the rhythmic beat of blues, jazz and soul to wider audiences by being pop singer Paul Simon's opening act.
Simon first noticed Dixon during his appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1972 with the Jessy Dixon Singers. For the next eight years, Dixon toured with Simon and collaborated with him on "Live Rhymin' Simon" and "Still Crazy." Over a more than 50-year career, Dixon wrote songs for several popular singers, including Cher, Diana Ross, Natalie Cole and Amy Grant.