Singer/Songwriter, Pepe Epting Passes Away
Pepe Epting, 44, a singer/songwriter who’s recorded with acts as diverse as R. Kelly and the platinum selling-ensemble, Shekinah Glory Ministry, passed away on Tuesday, June 5th after a long illness. Just a few weeks ago, Epting was well enough to dramatically perform at Shekinah Glory Ministry’s live concert recording at Valley Kingdom Ministries International in Oak Forest, IL where Apostle H. Daniel Wilson is the pastor. His last recording, “Peace for the World,” will appear on Shekinah Glory Ministry’s forthcoming September 25th CD release, “Surrender” (Kingdom Records). “Pepe was a warm, giving person, a worshipper with a distinctive voice and a friend to many,” says Kingdom Records President, Joan Sullivan. “He will be greatly missed.”
“Heaven regained one of God’s greatest singers,” said Shekinah Glory Ministry leader Phil Tarver in a Facebook posting. “You persevered, you labored, you fought, but most of all you worshipped through it all. Your golden voice, your smile and your sense of humor will be greatly missed. Don’t forget to tell your stories before you lead your song in Heaven Pep. I know they will be as blessed as we were. See you in the morning.”
Facebook was filled with other public acknowledgements of Epting’s passing. Grammy Award nominated producer, Daniel Weatherspoon, wrote that he’d lost one of his closest friends. “This really hurts,” he wrote. A childhood friend, Lana Finley-Williams, posted, “I am deeply saddened by this great loss. We grew up with Pepe from grade school and he was such a warmhearted friend and neighbor. His family is in my prayers. Rest peacefully, Pepe.”
On his own Facebook page, Epting once wrote that, “[my] passion is music and living life to the fullest” and by all accounts, he did that and was working on a degree in criminology before his illness prevented him from finishing. Born July 21, 1967 in Bellwood, IL, Epting got his start by singing background vocals on R. Kelly’s self-titled 1995 CD that featured the #1 hits “I Can’t Sleep Baby” and “You Remind Me of Something.” He later switched his attention to gospel music and was in traditional gospel singer Leanne Faine’s backing group before he joined Shekinah Glory Ministry in 2006. In recent years, he was a backing vocalist on Phil Tarver’s best-selling CDs “Draw Nearer” (2007) and “Place of Worship” (2010). Of particular note are Epting’s soulful, shadow vocals on Tarver’s Top 20 smash, “Betta Than That.”
Epting was also an accomplished songwriter, having composed songs such as “Fill My Cup” for Donald Malloy, “Giving My Problems to You” by Kim McFarland, “It Was Your Love” by Adrian B. King and “I Love You” for the Chicago quartet, Nu Wave.