Celebrity deaths in 2011

Slideshow posted in Photos | Monday, January 03, 2011

16 of 84: Jessy Dixon, a singer and songwriter known for his enegetic take on gospel music and who first gained fame by serving as an opening act to Paul Simon, died on Monday, Sept. 26, 2011 at the age of 73.

Dixon introduced his energetic style of gospel music to wider audiences by serving Simon's opening act. He died at his Chicago home, his sister Miriam Dixon told the wire service. She said he had been sick but declined to provide additional details.

Dixon wrote songs for several popular singers in a career that spanned over 50 years. His songs were also covered performed by Cher, Diana Ross, Natalie Cole and Amy Grant.

During his career, Dixon was able to produce five gold records and garner several Grammy nominations.

(Pictured: In this May 23, 2007 file photo, Jessy Dixon, left, performs with Yolanda Adams in Washington.) (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)