Update (April 18): Billy Graham's biographer, William Martin, offered CT his reflections on Shea, including the singer's most lasting achievement.
Also, the BGEA has created a memorial website with stories and photos of Shea's life.
(Editor's note: This obituary has been substantially updated with videos, photos, commentary, and other links.)
Famed gospel singer George Beverly Shea, who regularly opened for Billy Graham at his crusades for nearly six decades, died Tuesday evening "following a brief illness." He was 104.
"Shea's rendition of "How Great Thou Art" came to define the faith of a Protestant generation that Graham helped bring to Jesus Christ," noted the Associated Press in a lengthy obituary. "He performed live before an estimated 200 million people at crusades over the years — taking him from North Dakota to North Korea and beyond."
Gaither Music broke the news on Twitter:
Sad to Announce...George Beverly Shea Passes Away at Age 104:bit.ly/11bls5w– Gaither Music Co. (@Gaithermusic) ...1