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Famed gospel singer Albertina Walker died this morning at the age of 81.

Known to many as the “Queen of Gospel”, reps for the singer confirm that she died in her Chicago home early this morning.

The singer formed the choir group The Caravans when she was 22, and the group is credited with launching the careers of Shirley Caesar, Inez Andrews, Dorothy Norwood and Delores Washington.

Walker was previously admitted to a Chicago hospital where she underwent a tracheotomy surgery and had respiratory problems for years.

Walker had been in the hospital since her 81st birthday on Aug. 29, before her publicist confirms she passed away this morning at 4:30AM.

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