Walter Hawkins Net Worth

Walter Hawkins Net Worth, Source of Income and Bio

Walter Hawkins Biography

Walter Lee Hawkins, born on May 18, 1949, in Oakland, California, was a celebrated gospel singer, songwriter, composer, and pastor. His remarkable career spanned more than four decades, leaving an indelible mark on the world of urban contemporary gospel music.

Walter Hawkins Net Worth


  • Full name: Walter Lee Hawkins
  • Date of birth: May 18, 1949
  • Age: 61 Years Old
  • Gender: Male
  • Place of birth: Oakland, California
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Gospel Singer • Songwriter • Composer • Pastor
  • Parents: Dan Lee • Mamie Vivian Hawkins
  • No. Of Siblings: 7
  • Spouse: Tramaine Hawkins
  • No. Of Children: 2
  • Net worth: $5 million

Early Years & Education

Walter Hawkins was the seventh of eight children born to Dan Lee and Mamie Vivian Hawkins. His siblings are Edwin Hawkins, Marava Ladale Hawkins, Carol Lee Hawkins, Feddie Joyce Hawkins, Jervis Ersell Hawkins, Daniel Lee Hawkins and Lynette Gail Hawkins-Stephens. His upbringing in Oakland, California, was marked by a passion for music and a deep sense of faith. As a young child, he exhibited curiosity about how things worked, often disassembling and reassembling toys to create something new. His fascination with mechanics and science would later shape his career.

Hawkins attended the acclaimed Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C., where he excelled in math and science. Despite the challenges faced by African Americans during the Jim Crow Era, he developed a strong sense of self-confidence. In 1932, he graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, with a degree in chemical engineering. Undeterred by the Great Depression, he pursued further education, earning a master’s degree in chemistry from Howard University in 1934.

His mentor, Professor Howard Blatt, informed him of a special scholarship opportunity at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Hawkins seized this chance and completed his doctoral degree in chemistry in 1938, specializing in cellulose (lignin) chemistry. His academic journey reflected resilience, determination, and a commitment to excellence.

Musical Career & Achievements

Walter Hawkins’ musical journey began as a member of his brother Edwin Hawkins’ chorale, the Northern California State Youth Choir of the Church of God in Christ. The choir recorded an album in 1968, featuring the song “Oh Happy Day,” which became a crossover hit. Buddah Records purchased the master and released it as “the Edwin Hawkins Singers.” Walter accompanied Edwin in establishing the renowned Edwin Hawkins Singers.

In the early 1970s, Walter Hawkins left the Edwin Hawkins Singers to establish the Love Center Church in Oakland, California. His Love Alive series of recordings, produced with the Love Center Choir, achieved immense success. Love Alive IV, released in 1990, topped the Billboard Gospel Album charts for 33 weeks. Hawkins’ impact extended beyond his own music; he collaborated with artists like Van Morrison, Diahann Carroll, Sylvester, and Jeffrey Osborne.

Personal Life & Legacy

Bishop Hawkins married Tramaine Hawkins in 1971, and they had two children: Walter Lee “Jamie” Hawkins, Jr., and Trystan Lynette Hawkins. His granddaughter, Jahve Neru Deana Hawkins, and grandson, Jamie Daniel Hawkins, brought joy to his life. Despite their eventual divorce in 1994, Walter and Tramaine remained influential figures in gospel music.

Walter Hawkins’ legacy transcends his Grammy Award and chart-topping hits. He was a mentor to disadvantaged and minority youth, serving as the first chairman of the American Chemical Society’s Project SEED (Summer Educational Experience for the Economically Disadvantaged). His advocacy efforts and groundbreaking research at Bell Laboratories revolutionized telecommunications, making it accessible to thousands of Americans.

On July 11, 2010, Walter Hawkins passed away, leaving behind a rich musical heritage and a lasting impact on gospel music. He died of pancreatic cancer in his house in Ripon, California. His songs, including “Oh Happy Day” and “Goin’ Up Yonder,” continue to inspire and uplift audiences worldwide. Walter Hawkins’ life exemplified resilience, creativity, and unwavering faith—a true gospel legend.

Awards & Nominations

Walter Hawkins has nine Grammy Awards nominations, and won the 1981 Grammy for Best Gospel Performance, Contemporary or Inspirational for the special project album “The Lord’s Prayer”.

Three Gospel Music Association Dove Awards:

  • Soul Gospel Album of the Year for Love Alive II; Walter Hawkins and the Love Center Choir – 1980
  • Contemporary Gospel Album of the Year for The Hawkins Family Live – 1982
  • Traditional Song of the Year for “The Potter’s House” (co-songwriter) – 1991

Two Stellar Awards in 2006 For:

  • Traditional Male Vocalist of the Year
  • Traditional CD of the Year for A Song in My Heart

Net Worth & Source of Income

Walter Hawkins’ net worth was estimated at $5 million. His income primarily came from album sales, live performances, and royalties from songwriting. His enduring Love Alive Series Album remains beloved by fans, contributing to his financial success.

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