Troy Sneed, a Grammy-nominated gospel singer and record label founder, has died from complications with the coronavirus. Known for a number of gospel radio hits, such as "My Heart Says Yes" and "Worked It Out," Sneed passed away early Monday morning at a Jacksonville, Florida hospital, his publicist, Bill Carpenter, confirmed, according to CBS News. He was 52.
Born in Perry, Florida, Sneed launched his music career at Florida A&M University, where he studied education with a minor in music, according to Billboard. He spent much of his early career traveling throughout the United States to sing the gospel with the Georgia Mass Choir. During his time there, he arranged music on their albums and appeared with the choir in 1996 Whitney Houston and Denzel Washington-starring film The Preacher's Wife.
Sneed went on to help form Youth For Christ, which was comprised of members between the ages of 12 and 18 from the Georgia Mass Choir. Youth for Christ’s 1999 album, Higher, earned him a Grammy nomination in 2000. His other accomplishments include seven of his albums – A State of Worship, In His Presence, In Due Season, My Heart Says Yes, All Is Well, Awesome God, and Taking It Back – making Billboard's Top Gospel Albums chart. A number of his songs also landed on the Hot Gospel Songs chart, and he also earned 13 placements on the Gospel Airplay chart from 2006 through 2018.
Along with his wife Emily, Sneed started his own record label Emtro, which is a blend of their first names, in 2003 and secured national distribution with GoDigi Path. The label has a roster of artists from Alvin Darling & Celebration and Rev. Rudolph McKissick.
"With great regret, we at GoDigiPath, LLC are literally stunned, deeply and extremely saddened as we have lost a beloved colleague and dear friend," GoDigiPath said in a statement after learning of Sneed's passing. "Words truly cannot express our sorrow regarding an innocent life taken WAY TOO SOON due to Covid19! Please pray for Emily (Sneed), the kids and the extended family/loved ones of our tragically departed brother, Troy Sneed. He is missed, beyond words as our hearts are broken well beyond all understanding!"
Sneed has also been remembered by a number of figures in the gospel community, many of whom took to social media to pay tribute. In an emotional post, Prophet Brian Card wrote that Sneed "has been the mastermind, producer, and ink pen behind so many of the gospel community's favorite and most popular songs."