North Carolina – American gospel singer Shirley Ann Caesar-Williams, known professionally as Shirley Caesar, also known as The Queen Of Gospel Music has announced the death of her son and music director Michael Mathis on Wednesday, February 15, 2023. Pastor Shirley Caesar released a statement about the passing of her son on her official Facebook page. She wrote;
Today, my heart is really bleeding because of the loss of my son, my friend, my co-worker, my musical director, Minister Michael E. Mathis.I am in such disbelief because Michael was one who did everything right. He was a vegetarian, he exercised, walked five miles daily, he took care of his body. In all of the years that I have known him, he has never been sick. Right now, I just can’t believe that he is gone.If there is anyone that I know was saved, it was Michael Mathis. He was such a wonderful person, one who never had a cross word with anyone. He was the epitome of what God would have us to be. I called him “My Mike.”Facebook friends, please pray for me. I not only lost a son, but I lost a wonderful friend. My heart bleeds for “My Mike,” who is no longer with us.Collectively, he played for my group, The Caesar Singers, and for my church, Mt Calvary Word of Faith, for 43 years.With broken hearts we concede to the sovereignty of God, realizing that “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh, BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD!!”–Pastor Shirley Caesar
Who is Shirley Caesar?
An American gospel vocalist by the name of Shirley Caesar. When she signed with Federal Records at the age of 12, her career officially began in 1951. Caesar has been described as both “The Queen of Gospel Music” and the “First Lady of Gospel Music” over the course of her seven-decade career. She has also received fourteen Stellar Awards, fifteen Dove Awards, and eleven Grammy Awards.
Caesar has nearly forty albums to his credit. In addition to three gospel musicals, Mama I Want to Sing, Sing: Mama 2, and Born to Sing: Mama 3, she has appeared in over 16 collections. Since 1991, she has sold 2.2 million albums, according to SoundScan. She has made a number of prominent appearances, including the Gospel According to VH1 and the broadcast Life from Disney World Night of Joy, as well as a performance at the White House for President George W. Bush.
She spoke to the US Treasury Department about how gospel music has changed over time. The Recording Academy presented Caesar with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017. She has also received the SESAC Lifetime Achievement Award, and Rhapsody & Rhythm Award from the National Museum of African American Music, as well as induction into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
Pastor Josh Bracy and Power Anointed wrote on Facebook, “We were saddened to hear of the transition of Minister Michael Mathis, who has been Pastor Shirley Caesar’s @pastorscaesar music director for many years. We will never forget meeting him, Pastor Caesar, and their team last year! We are sincerely praying for and with his family, friends, and those that knew and loved him.”
Caleb Serrano said; “A real Friend, A true Gift, A gospel Legend, A saved Soul, A humble Servant Dr Michael Mathis … Rest Well Sir.”