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Funeral Service Details For Singer/Songwriter Gabriel Hardeman

Funeral services have been announced for singer-songwriter, Gabriel S. Hardeman, who died of complications of interstitial fibrosis, this past Saturday, June 16th. The viewing takes place Saturday, June 23 @ 10 a.m. at the Hickman Temple A.M.E. Church, 5001 Baltimore Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19143. The actual service starts promptly at 11 a.m. Over the last few weeks, Hardeman reached out to friends and associates to tell them that he loved and appreciate them. One of his last requests was that friend and colleague, Bryant Pugh, play Richard Smallwood’s “I’ve Come Too Far” at his funeral.

Hardeman is best known for co-writing Stephanie Mills’ tune, “I Feel Good All Over” with his wife, Annette Hardeman. It was a #1 Billboard R&B smash for three weeks in 1987 and anchored her platinum LP, “If I Were Your Woman”. He also arranged the song and was one of the background vocalists. The Hardeman’s also wrote Mikki Howard’s “Love Under New Management” which peaked at #2 on the R&B chart in 1990. It was a hit a year later – as a gospel song – for The Kurt Carr Singers debut CD, “Together”. Keke Wyatt and former Motown artist, Miss Jones, have also covered it. Hardeman also wrote songs for Teddy Pendergrass and his Gabriel Hardeman Delegation did backing vocal sessions for R&B acts like Patti Labelle, Phil Perry and Phyllis Hyman.

Hardeman was equally known in the gospel field – his first love. He formed The Gabriel Hardeman Delegation in 1973. The group signed to Savoy Records where they recorded hit albums such as the self-titled LP that featured the radio hit “Feels Like Fire” and earned a Grammy Award nomination. “When that song came out Gabe was the hottest thing in gospel,” Veda Brown of Black Gospel Promo recalls. “You heard that song at every church because choirs sang it and you heard it at the roller skating parties. It was everywhere. He was doing things at that time that Tye Tribbett or Kirk Franklin are known for now.” Over the years, he collaborated with The Sharon Baptist Church Choir, The Wilmington-Chester Mass Choir, The Philadelphia Mass Choir, Edwin Hawkins and the Gospel Music Workshop of America Choir. His last project was the Stellar Award nominated CD, “To the Chief Musician”, in 2001. His wife, Annette Hardeman, and their son, Michael, survive him.

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