Willie Neal Johnson was a gospel singer known for blues-driven style and friendly personality. Born in Tyler, Texas in 1935, the oldest of six children, he got his start singing in church. In his teens he was tapped to join the Five Ways of Joy Gospel Singers. A few years later he formed Willie Neal Johnson and the Gospel Keynotes with friends. They received a Grammy nomination in 1980 for Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now. The Gospel Keynotes went on to record over 20 LPs for Nashboro records, and were inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in Detroit and the American Gospel Quartet Hall of Fame in Birmingham, Alabama in 1999.