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Christian singer Carman Licciardello dies aged 65 following complications during surgery

Carman performs on stage
Carman passed away following complications during surgery on a hernia. Pic credit: @Carman Licciardello/YouTube

Christian singing legend Carman Dominic Licciardello passed away last night in Las Vegas at the age of 65.

Known by his fans simply as Carman, the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame Member had spent an incredible 40 years in the music business.

Carman’s official Facebook page broke the news on Tuesday that the singer had died at a hospital in Las Vegas following a series of complications that arose from surgery to repair a hiatal hernia.

Always the consummate entertainer, Carman was best known for his songs like Satan, Bite the Dust, and R.I.O.T. (Righteous Invasion of Truth). He particularly liked to perform elaborate stage shows that featured tense emotional ballads with lots of religious and spiritual imagery.

Carman battled demons and the devil on-stage

His shows often contained witches and demons battling Jesus Christ, who would, of course, always emerge victorious.

According to Christianity Today, Carmen was a determined showman and entertainer committed to “producing a pop spectacle for Jesus.”

Carman used his love of singing and entertainment to bring Christianity to as many people as he could. He once said: “The music is the best means I have of reaching the most people in the quickest way to win them to Christ.”

“I think an artist owes it to his audience to thrill them and impress them. It lets people know there is joy in being Christian,” he added.

Carman was born in New Jersey in 1956 and reached the heights of his success in the 2000s. He once set the world record for the highest number of fans at a concert for a single Christian artist, 71,000 fans at the Texas Stadium in Dallas.

Fans honored Carman Licciardello on Twitter

Fans and musicians flocked to Twitter to pay respects to the legendary singer.

Christian hip-hop artist TobyMac was among those to lead the tributes on Twitter. He said: “We are grateful for the times we had with you.,” and he recalled that Carman had been “so kind to me.” He finished his tribute by writing: “You are home now. A Champion for real.”

TobyMac pays tribute to Carman on Twitter
Pic credit: @tobymac/Twitter

Singer Danny Gokey also paid his respects. He called Carman a legend and said he’d rewritten the rules in their genre: “He was a legend in our camp and in our genre. He re-wrote all the rules.” He added that he had listened to Carman’s records as a child.

Danny Gokey pays tribute to Carman on Twitter
Pic credit: @dannygokey/Twitter

Another fan of Carman wrote: “One of the all-time greats, not just as an entertainer, but as a person. This man has left an indelible mark on millions of people all around the world.”

Some fans also posted memorable songs that Carman had performed.

Also in the news just now, actress Ashley Judd yesterday shared photographs of her grueling 55-hour ordeal in the Congo rainforest after she broke her leg. And Game of Thrones stars Rose Leslie and Kit Harington have welcomed their first baby together.