Deborah McCrary, a founding member of the critically acclaimed gospel group the McCrary Sisters, has died at age 67. A Nashville-based spokesperson confirmed the devastating news on Wednesday, June 1, and has not revealed the cause of death.
“It is with deep sorrow that we share the news of the passing of our beloved sister Deborah,” said a statement released (June 2) by the sibling quartet.
The McCrary Sisters comprise of Alfreda, Ann, Regina, and Deborah, was formed in the early 2000s. Since the release of their debut record in 2010, the vocalists quickly became a household name in the country music genre. While releasing a string of studio albums, including their live 2019 collection “A Very McCrary Christmas,” the vocalists began performing alongside hitmakers.
The group known for their chill-provoking harmonies and powerful pipes were recruited by several musicians such as Eric Church, Chris Stapleton, Martina McBride, Patty Griffin, Steve Earle, Buddy Miller, and more to sing backup live and in the studio. The world-rounded entertainers were also the Ryman Auditorium’s house band during the annual Americana Awards. They performed with Brandi Carlile, Loretta Lynn, Jason Isbell, Jackson Browne, and others during the prestigious affair.
The group delivered “My Church” with Maren Morris at the 2016 CMA Awards, appeared on Allison Russell’s single “All Of The Women,” was featured on Carrie Underwood’s track “Choctaw County Affair,” and worked closely with Margo Price on “Do Right By Me.” They even performed at the White House.
Before Deborah leaned on her sisters to create their ear-grabbing genre-bending sound, she pursued a career as a nurse. While she was aiding others – her father Reverend Samuel H. “Sam” McCrary and member of Fairfield Four, shared his love for music with his daughters. In the midst of their flourishing music career, Deborah suffered a stroke in 2013.
Deborah did not look at her health condition as a setback, as she returned to the stage only six months after the incident.
“When I had my stroke, I remembered that God does things for a reason,” the late artist told the Grand Ole Opry at the time. “That’s where I was supposed to be, with my sisters by my side. I thank God for my sisters because they’ve helped me in a lot of ways, and that whole experience gave me a deeper understanding of just how much I love being with them.”
Following the debilitating stroke – Deborah penned the single “Let It Go” and wrote their first book, “Cooking With Love.” The hardcover is filled to the brim with stories and recipes passed from their mother, Mudear. Despite the hardships one may face in a lifetime, Regina shared with the Opry that the sisters live by one rule – “We don’t Judge, We just love.”