The gospel community is in shock following the death of UK gospel singer, Joni Lee. The 47-year-old singer died in Homerton Hospital, Hackney, East London, following a brief illness.
Joni was renowned for her powerful voice, gentle attitude and sweet spirit. She was an in-demand singer, performing regularly at concerts, events and conferences. During the late 80s and 90s, she sang with the London Community Gospel Choir for a while. She was also a guest vocalist on the Soul Stirrings compilation album released in 1993, which featured various UK artists.
Facebook was overwhelmed with tributes following her death. Isaiah Raymond-Dyer, of Raymond & Co, wrote on his page how he cried upon hearing of her death. When he spoke to Keep The Faith, he shared that he and Joni became good friends after he did backing vocals for her in 1993. She also sang at his eldest daughter’s christening, and he sang at Joni’s 40th birthday. He said, “I feel gutted; there are some people you work with and some people you work for. Joni was someone I wanted to work for.”
He was hoping to work with Joni on her debut album, a dream which will now not be realised.
Gospel DJ, Dave P, was equally shocked at the news. He said, “She was an awesome vocal powerhouse, with a great amount of gifts and talents, and a very nice person.”
Sharon Bradshaw has known Joni since the age of 4. They grew up together in the same church, New Life Assembly in Dalston, and sang together. She shared, “She was very friendly, very shy, and very humble. Her boldness would come out with her singing. Her favourite song was His Eye Is On The Sparrow.”
Joni is survived by her five siblings, nieces and nephews.