Sunny Hawkins, a Famous Gospel Singer, Died – What Happened?

Last Updated on October 9, 2023, 11:58 am

Sunny Hawkins, a famous Gospel singer and songwriter, passed away after losing a battle with stage IV cancer.

Sunny Hawkins Died
Sunny Hawkins (Source: Uptospeed Journalism News)

California-born gospel singer Mayiia “Sunny” Hawkins passed away on Tuesday, September 5 2023, after losing three years-long battle with cancer. The grievous news of her passing has left her devoted fans and community in shock and her family aggrieved.

Who was Sunny Hawkins?

She was a Gospel singer with the voice of an angel. She recorded her gospel album. She was the wife of a producer/writer/musical director and pastor, Jaime Hawkins. She was a songwriter. She wrote two songs that Aretha Franklin recorded, “The only thing missin‘” and “Good Lovin‘” from Patti Labelle’s 2004 album “Timeless Journey”.

Early life and accomplishments

Sunny Hawkins was born in Oakland, California. She began singing early in her childhood, as young as 2, with her grandparents Walter and Tramaine Hawkins, renowned names of their time in gospel music. She continued singing through her teen years and, after college, moved to New York City to be on Broadway, where she landed the role of Joanne in the Broadway musical Rent with *NSYNC’s Joey Fantone and backing voice gigs with Chaka Khan, Deborah Cox, Ray Charles, Patti Labelle, and Luther Vandross.

She later found her voice in gospel music that echoed her spiritual soul. Spirituality was her true passion. She dedicated her life to spreading the faith she firmly believed in. This love of gospel music laid the path for her success and led to her soulmate, Jaime Hawkins.

Was Sunny Hawkin married?

She married pastor Jaime Hawkin, a renowned gospel music and ministry name. Together, they united their musical talents and began collaborating on their Gospel album “More of You”, released in 2005. The audience was charmed by their music and mesmerized by their ingenious use of hip-hop and rock blended with soulful traditional gospel elements, bringing life to a modern gospel. They moved to North Carolina, where they lived with their beautiful family of six children.

What happened to Sunny Hawkins?

Sunny was diagnosed with breast cancer that had metastasized and was classified as stage IV because it had spread to her bones and liver in 2020. Sunny had been battling with cancer ever since.

GoFundMe page was organized by a dear friend of hers to help her cover the cost of her hospice. The original target was set to 70,000 dollars, and over 40,000 dollars had been raised. The fund will now cover the medical bills; the remaining will go to her beloved children.

Obituary and Funeral

SoulTracks released her obituary on their social media post. The details of her funeral will shared at a later date. Her loving family is still handling their immense grief. Fans and followers are requested to respect their mourning and pay their respect when their family is strong enough to receive them.


Her best friend, Antonique Smith, paid the most heartwarming tribute to her late friend in her social media post, saying,

“RIP to my soul’s twin Myiia “Sunny” Hawkins. We bonded so quickly back in RENT in 2002 because we were very much the same person. We understood each other in ways no one else did and we never had to explain ourselves to each other cause we were the same. My soulmate sister.”

Tretha Parker wrote, “I’m sitting here not even knowing what to say. Sis Pastor as I called her is a beautiful soul. She always had a smile on her face and the love she had for her family was awesome. I truly enjoyed the last time I saw her at her birthday tea. I didn’t know what to expect but she’s was lovely as she always was. Rest my Sis Pastor in heaven.”

Cynthia Allen wrote, “My heartaches… This is like a daughter. I did their hair, dress them like mines, watched them perform on many stages as youth.”

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