By Verena Dobnik, Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK — The Rev. Timothy Wright, the Grammy-nominated gospel singer and composer who inspired America with his up-tempo praise songs and powerful choirs, has died a year after an accident that killed his wife and grandson.

Dubbed the “Godfather of Gospel,” he “brought people together in worship, in music, and in fellowship,” New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Friday.

Wright, 61, died Thursday at the Bronx Veterans Hospital, music agent Will Bogle said. The exact cause of Wright’s death was not released, but the accident left him paralyzed from the neck down and he has been in bad health since then.

Wright was the pastor at Grace Tabernacle Christian Center Church of God in Christ, located in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood. He released more than a dozen gospel recordings, writing many of the songs. His latest album, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, came out in 2007.

Wright left a deep mark in the life of both his city and the nation, celebrated by his Brooklyn community and top officials.

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Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Wright family.