“I’m broken-hearted but full of joy that God Allowed me to be fathered by such an awesome man, father and friend,” Te’Ceion wrote Wednesday (March 16) on Instagram.
Coley charted 14 entries on the Top Gospel Albums chart, including six top 10s and the No. 1 When the Music Stops (in 1992). He most recently charted in 2006 with Praise & Worship.
Somewhat of a child prodigy, the California native got his musical start early. His first musical influence was his mother, who raised him following his parents’ divorce. At age 14, he was a member of the critically lauded group Helen Stephens and the Voices of Christ. From there, he went on to a successful run with Edwin Hawkins and the Edwin Hawkins Singers from 1977 until 1983. Along the way, Coley also had successful stints working with Tramaine Hawkins, James Cleveland and Pete Escovedo.
By the middle part of the decade, Coley had branched out into more secular sounds, particularly jazz. He would collaborate with artists such as Nancy Wilson and Randy Franklin throughout the 1980s. His solo debut, 1986’s Just Darryl, returned him to his Gospel roots and was nominated for a Grammy. Follow-up albums include I’ll Be With You and 1992’s When the Music Stops. In the early 1990s, Coley was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, which caused him temporary blindness, but he still kept performing and recording. His last album was Praise and Worship, released in 2006.
In later years, Coley became involved in the ministry in his native Bay Area and hosted a radio show called God Said I Can, where he and co-host Nancy Sellers spoke to various ministers and performers. His career was celebrated in January 2014 by BMI as part of their 15th annual Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards in Nashville.
My Daddy and My Heart?????? celebrating, cherishing, and crying. I love this man with every ounce of me. I’m broken-hearted but full of joy that God Allowed me to be fathered by such an awesome man father and friend. He has taught me so many thing in my life but has shown me how to be the BEST DAD IN THE WORLD. I can only pray that I be half the father he has been and will always be to me to my children. I will never stop crying from the pain of loss but will ALWAYS APPRECIATE THE TIME AND LOVE I SHARED WITH THE BEST MAN I KNOW… I love you forever DADDY #pops #darylcoley