Gospel singer, FAMU grad Troy Sneed dies from coronavirus complications

Posted at 8:05 AM, Apr 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-29 08:14:05-04

Grammy-nominated gospel singer Troy Sneed has died from complications with the coronavirus. He was 52.

Publicist Bill Carpenter says the singer died early Monday at a hospital in Jacksonville, Florida.

Born in Perry, Florida, Sneed played football throughout high school and dreamed of playing in the National Football League.

After graduating from high school, Sneed enrolled at Florida A&M University as an education major with a minor in music. He joined the university choir and became active in gospel music.

After graduating from FAMU, Sneed taught at Jacksonville's Beach Elementary School until Savoy Records executive Rev. Milton Biggham offered him a position as the Georgia Mass Choir's assistant minister of music.

Sneed traveled throughout the United States early in his career to sing the gospel with the Georgia Mass Choir.

He arranged music on their albums and appeared with the choir in 1996 film “The Preacher’s Wife,” starring Whitney Houston and Denzel Washington.

Sneed earned a Grammy nomination for his work on the Youth For Christ’s 1999 album “Higher.”

In 2003, Sneed and his wife, Emily (whom he met at FAMU), formed their own recording label, Emtro (a blend of their first names) and secured national distribution with GoDigi Path.

Over the years, Sneed wrote songs and produced projects for a variety of other artists that were released through Emtro, including "Call Jesus" for Bruce Parham and the Arkansas Mass Choir's hit, "You Alone."

By 2007, Sneed focused on his own music and earned his first Billboard solo Top Ten hit with the upbeat song, "Hallelujah."

He would go on to have a dozen songs place on various Billboard gospel charts. His biggest hits include "My Heart Says Yes" (2011) and "Work It Out" (2008), which both peaked at No. 2 on Billboard's Hot Gospel Songs chart.

He is survived by his wife of 27 years and their four children, Troy Jr., Evany, Trey and Tyler.