Allen’s wife, Ellen Marie Allen, née Groves, is known as the “First Lady” of New Bethel’s Bountiful Blessings Ministries. According to Groves’ profile on the church’s website, she is a native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and was “introduced to the Lord at a young age.”
Her profile goes on to say that she “met and fell in love” with Allen at the age of 16. The couple married with their father’s consent in December 1970. Before becoming fully involved with the church, the profile says that Groves worked in banking. In the biography, Groves refers to her husband as “the sweetest, most humble, patient, loving man who gives man this side of glory.”
3. Allen Was Celebrated in Toledo, Ohio, as Part of Black History Month 2020
In February 2020, Allen was celebrated in Toledo as part of Black History Month, ABC13 reported at the time. As part of the celebrations, a wing of the Imagine Madison School of the Arts in the city was named after Allen.
Allen was quoted as saying, “I have been singing for 60 years and as far as I am concerned it has all been a ministry. Then turning 71 and someone says we want to honor you, it made me want to wear the suit today. It’s a wonderful thing and I’m enjoying it. ”
4. Allen Said in 2015 that He Could Not Find the Words to Describe the Honor of Performing for President Barack Obama
In April 2015, Allen performed for President Barack Obama and the First Lady at the White House as part of a special event celebrating the history of gospel music. Allen told The Monroe News in the lead up to the performance: “I am so honored that I cannot find the right words to describe it. I’m excited and a little nervous. “Allen appeared in the lineup alongside other legendary artists such as Aretha Franklin, Lyle Lovett and Emmylou Harris.
At the event, President Obama told the performers in a speech: “The songs were where your dreams took flight, where they expressed faith and love, as well as pain and fear and unimaginable loss.” While Aretha Franklin said that the event was “absolutely wonderful”. Franklin added, “It made my heart so happy to be back with other gospel singers I grew up with, like Shirley Caesar and Rance Allen,” according to Ebony magazine.
5. Allen Is Being Mourned as a Legend of Gospel Music on Twitter
As news of Allen’s death has spread, fellow artists, as well as fans, have taken to Twitter to express their condolences. Here are some of the most poignant reminder messages:
What a GREAT loss to the gospel world. Bishop Rance Allen is one of the best voices on the planet. The Grammy Award-winning gospel artist could have lived anywhere except the TOLEDO home! Pray for your family. pic.twitter.com/x2MBx4YAgB
– KristianBrown (@KristianBrown) October 31, 2020
Rance Allen 😫🤦🏾♂️😢🙏🏽 One of the best to bless the microphone with his unique voice; Gospel music will not be the same … Put on your 👑 and your robe 🙌🏾. 2020 is possibly the worst year ever! #RIPRANCEALLEN 🎶🎤 pic.twitter.com/uR8hplZmaQ
– JustAsSureAsMyNameIsWanya (@JJustITA) October 31, 2020
SMH !!! What a GIFT …… What a TALENT … What an incredible HUMAN BEING !!! There will NEVER be another Bishop Rance Allen !!! Man …… .. I can’t lie… .. this year has not been “easy” ……. # RIPRanceAllen #RanceAllen pic.twitter.com/QGzkwLx6Vj
– E. Dewey Smith (@edeweysmith) October 31, 2020
One of the greatest icons of the gospel has passed. Bishop Rance Allen is one of our best voices and we will miss him. Pray for your family. This is a major loss. Pic.twitter.com/9xIP3QWtKb
– Let me see your transcript (YourFav HistTeacher) (@divasantamonica) October 31, 2020
Rest in love: Rance Allen’s loss in the gospel world is enormous. His voice was larger than life and so beautiful.
He cut whenever he had a mic in his hands and rightly so with a range like his. They will miss you, but your legacy lives on. ❤️ # RanceAllen #RIP pic.twitter.com/hmvLaf8Kbi
– ShakariSBriggs (@ShakariSBriggs) October 31, 2020
#GospelMusic is sad today … # RanceAllen, has passed away. He was born on November 20, 1948 to October 31, 2020. He was a bishop, minister, anointed gospel musician, and founder and leader of the famous #RanceAllenGroup. He was also one of the NICEST men I have ever met / interviewed. pic.twitter.com/Dk2OicJG9c
– Laticia ™ (@LaticiaD) October 31, 2020
I am truly heartbroken and saddened by the passing of beloved gospel music legend, the Rev. Rance Allen. I worked, interviewed and remembered all the times he performed at the old WQBH AM1400 King of Kings gospel event every Easter Sunday in Detroit. pic.twitter.com/Z4XgLt5sao
– InfoTalkNetwork (@InfoTalkNetwork) October 31, 2020
Rest in peace #RanceAllen! Your beautiful “voice” and your “notes” will be forever legendary “something about the name” Jesus “It is the sweetest name I know !!!!
– Marcus Spears (@ mspears96) October 31, 2020
Gospel legend Rance Allen (November 20, 1948 – October 31, 2020) was an American bishop, minister, and gospel musician, founding leader of the famous Rance Allen Group. This man gave me the creeps when he sang! My condolences to his family and the world of the gospel. #RanceAllen 🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/cBm4e1eGTK
– Makesha Williamson (@KeyJackOfTrades) October 31, 2020