Blind Boys Of Alabama Leader Clarence Fountain Dies At 88

A founding member of the Grammy-winning gospel group the Blind Boys of Alabama has died.

Manager Charles Driebe says in an email that Clarence Fountain died Sunday in a hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Fountain was 88.

Fountain and friends started their first group as students at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Deaf and Blind in Talladega.

They left school in 1944 while in their teens.

The group won four Grammys, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship, and were members of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

A news release from Driebe’s Blind Ambition Management says Fountain stopped touring with the group in 2007 because of complications from diabetes, but sang on their 2017 album, “Almost Home.”