Christian Music Icon Billy Ray Hearn Passes
April 16, 2015 at 7:12 AM (PT)
BILLY RAY HEARN, founder of SPARROW RECORDS, and mentor for many of today's Christian label and industry leaders, has died at the age of 85. Well respected and admired within the CCM and NASHVILLE communities, BILLY's passing has prompted an outpouring of emotion and tributes on FACEBOOK.
PROVIDENT LABEL GROUP VP Promotions ANDREW PATTION commented, "His commitment to Christian music has been and will be felt for eternity. Go rest high Billy Ray!"
PROPER MANAGEMENT Manager NICK BARRE said, "Mourning the loss of a true legend....BILLY RAY HEARN. It's hard to imagine the extent of the eternal impact he had on countless lives."
Independent record promoter KYLE FENTON posted, "I consider it an honor to have worked for BILLY RAY HEARN. I went to work for SPARROW RECORDS in 1991, when it was still a family owned company. BILLY RAY was kind, caring and generous. His contribution to our industry was immeasurable.....surpassed only by his contribution to humanity. R.I.P. Mr Hearn."
HAUSER PROMOTION indie CHRIS HAUSER commented, "Though I never worked directly for the man, my respect for BILLY RAY HEARN has always been at my utmost. Starting MYRRH RECORDS and signing LARRY NORMAN and RANDY MATTHEWS...then starting SPARROW RECORDS and signing JOHN MICHAEL TALBOT and eventually STEVE TAYLOR, STEVEN CURTIS CHAPMAN and countless others.
"I was able to screw up my courage one day a few years ago at the airport, get in front of him and tell him how grateful I was for his impact on my life - from first being a Christian music fan, to working in Christian radio and then the record business for the last 27 years. His influence is immeasurable. He will be so missed. Thinking of his family (my friends) and their loss tonight. Rest in Peace BILLY RAY..."
ALL ACCESS extends heartfelt thoughts and prayers to BILLY RAY's friends and family, including his son, CAPITAL CHRISTIAN MUSIC GROUP President BILL HEARN. BILLY RAY was truly one-of-a-kind, and he will be sorely missed.