The Day the Music Died

Gospel musician Kevin Pringle dedicated his life to lifting spirits. Three months ago he was found shot to death in his house.

By Kia Gregory
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 18 | Posted Aug. 20, 2003

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"He had a God-given gift for music," says Louella Williams of United Baptist Church, where Pringle participated in the music ministry. "People say you go to college to get knowledge in a particular field. Well, music was his field, so people called him 'the Professor.'"

"Kevin was a good person to be around," says Pastor Michelle Johnson of Ford Memorial Temple. "A lot of young people became members here because of Kevin's influence. He had a way of uplifting them and giving them hope. He told them that even in bad times there was something to look forward to."

Pringle was also known as a guy who would tell it straight. "No one never wanted to play the dozens with him, because you'd lose," says Tony Jones, a longtime friend. "He'd say, 'Why is your hair like that? You need to put a mirror by your front door and you need to look at it before you come out. If you look at it and you don't see anything wrong, there is something wrong with you.'"

"Your hair was never done until Kevin did it," says Chandra. "He'd said, 'That's cute, but I need to fix it,' or 'It looks bad, you should let me do it.' He was good with makeup, too. He'd say, 'You don't have to look like a drag queen. Tone it down.'"

Aside from being a gospel musician, Pringle had stints working in customer service at an insurance company and for a local record store. To supplement his music income, he became a freelance photographer and hair stylist, encountering many people in the course of his day.

Chandra says that on a typical day, Pringle would get up, do somebody's hair, do a photo shoot, and somewhere along the line he'd end up in the Gallery Mall, where he would strike up conversations with people, offering his freelance services and finding people who wanted to sing.

"Kevin knew so many people," says Chandra. "As much as I dealt with him on a daily basis, I would not know where to start as far as who would want to hurt him, because he was such a people person and he interacted with so many different people. I just wouldn't know where to start."

Pringle and Stanley had been dead for several days when another roommate, Stanley's godson, who had been out of town, discovered their bodies. Both had been shot in the head.

From what police have gathered there were no signs of forced entry or robbery, suggesting that one of them knew the killer and let the killer into their home.

Some believe that Pringle, who was found in the dining room slumped in a chair in front of a computer, was the initial target. Stanley was found upstairs lying in bed.

Earlier in the year, because of landlord difficulties, Pringle was in the process of losing his apartment. Stanley, who suffered from diabetes, had been recently hospitalized with congestive heart failure.

Moving in together seemed like the perfect arrangement, but a longtime friend of Stanley's (who wants to remain anonymous) didn't think it was a good idea.

"I told Artie that the way Kevin lived his life would come back to hurt him," he says. "Kevin was extremely talented, but he used his talents ... he would do anything he could do to get next to a guy. I believe that the decisions and lifestyle choices he made got him killed."

"There was a side of Kevin that he kept to himself," says his friend Tony Jones, who later refused a follow-up interview with PW. "Kevin had a whole other life, so you have a double-edged sword. David was a trip, but he was still God's boy. Kevin did a lot of crazy things, but he also helped a lot of people."

Many say that Pringle had become an excellent photographer, and some believe that his newfound talent could be connected to the murders. A longtime friend of Stanley's says Pringle worked as a videographer and photographer for male strip clubs and that he took suggestive pictures of men that he would later show to his friends.

"Kevin was into a lot of photography, and he took all kinds of pictures," says Jones. "Including racy ones."

"I'd be over there and he'd just have [pictures] laying around," says Stanley's friend. "Some of the men would have their zippers open. Some would be nude."

The friend also alleges that Pringle and Stanley dated outwardly heterosexual men, including "a little thug boy" from Southwest Philly and a nephew of one of their choir members. The two had a code of "converting straight," believing that they could seduce straight guys with oral sex.

"I would ask Arthur about the decisions he was making, and he would say, 'The Bible says these are the last and evil days. Get it while you can,'" he recalls. "They were in the church, but they didn't make decisions around it."

The friend believes Pringle either photographed or videotaped someone in a comprising situation, possibly unknowingly, and that person found out and got angry enough to murder him and Stanley.

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COMMENTS

Comments 1 - 18 of 18
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1. Paulette McClain-Pringle said... on Dec 5, 2008 at 09:17PM

“Well I am Kevin's sister and I do not believe that my brother was living a double life.He was outwardly open with me about hs sexuality, so why wouldn't he be with others who CLAIMS he used to called them his "sisters"?”

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2. Anonymous said... on Jun 4, 2009 at 08:07PM

“You can't say that if you were his sister for real. We never knew you and my cousins and I have known Kevin since we were 9 and 11 yrs old and were in our late thirties now (Chandra Chrissy and Derrick). Kevin did him and those that knew him well like we did knew he was doing him. So lets be factual Chandra and Chrissy were his sisters. Everyone on the plante that knew him for real knew them as his sisters. Kevin we love you and your loss will efffect all that loved you as long as we live Love You.”

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3. Anonymous said... on Jul 7, 2009 at 11:44AM

“brothers and sister, we can go back and forth all day long but what is most important is wether he or all of us are right with god. i met kevin in 1977 or 1978 when he sang with the voices from heaven and then he joined our church chior the new inspirations at the garden on prayer cogic i believe he sang with us at least through 1983 . kevin was a complicated person and all who knew him back then knew his sexuality. i guess i would classify him as bi sexual when i first met him. ofcourse this was years ago and who of us are the same people we were 30 years ago. i liked kevin alot. he was quick witted and very very very talented. i hadnt seen him in several years before he died but i do know shortly before he left out chior he did professed christ and was dating a girl named sue. i pray that he is with the lord.”

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4. Anonymous said... on Feb 27, 2010 at 12:39AM

“The thing that hurts me the most is how people of God turn the cheek on situations like this. Tell me when have you never committed a sin? Its impossible but when someone passes and everyone who says there holy turns and bashes them, what Christian are you? He may have had some other ways but what does that give u to put his life secrets out there? I knew Kevin my whole life and never not once has he mentioned his sister by the name of Paulette? Its hard to believe that he was outwardly open with you if your name never rang a bell in anyones ears. There was his church family, his choir, and his circle of friends which included his two sister Chandra and Christa. I strongly believe that the death of Kevin doesnt intend on people to try to find what secrets he was holding from some. But to show that God is real, and maybe the wrong doings that Kevin did do led God to show the people in the gospel undercover homosexuality world that he is no joke. I LOVE U Kevin & u will 4evr b missed”

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5. Anonymous said... on Feb 27, 2010 at 12:39AM

“The thing that hurts me the most is how people of God turn the cheek on situations like this. Tell me when have you never committed a sin? Its impossible but when someone passes and everyone who says there holy turns and bashes them, what Christian are you? He may have had some other ways but what does that give u to put his life secrets out there? I knew Kevin my whole life and never not once has he mentioned his sister by the name of Paulette? Its hard to believe that he was outwardly open with you if your name never rang a bell in anyones ears. There was his church family, his choir, and his circle of friends which included his two sister Chandra and Christa. I strongly believe that the death of Kevin doesnt intend on people to try to find what secrets he was holding from some. But to show that God is real, and maybe the wrong doings that Kevin did do led God to show the people in the gospel undercover homosexuality world that he is no joke. I LOVE U Kevin & u will 4evr b missed”

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6. Anonymous said... on Feb 27, 2010 at 01:23AM

“When it is all said and done. I miss Kevin. Outstanding Musician”

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7. Anonymous said... on Mar 3, 2010 at 11:24AM

“this is so disrespectful to somebody that ministered and poured out to God's people ministry for his entire lifetime. No matter what his sexuality was, he was a man of God that was used in his time. Don't disrespect this man because there are poeple who love him dearly. The word of God says there is no sin that is not common to man. Can we show a little respect please? thank you”

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8. Deacon Lawrence & Lisa Griffin said... on Apr 10, 2010 at 10:03PM

“HI Chandra. Sorry I missed you Friday night .I went to a play called Joseph in Lancaster Pa with my mom's church . My husband said he spoke to you and told you I was gone. He said you did a very good job. We might see you on Wednesday night, if pastor Armand let's us be excused from bible study.”

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9. Anonymous said... on May 19, 2010 at 09:03AM

“Theres no way this dude was a christian he may have been inclined to do good deeds but he also was inclined to lure straight men into his world by way of oral sex. This is an outrage for a person to say he was a christian. Whatever a man soweth so shall he reap. Homosexuality is an abomination clearly to God. Remember Sodom and Gomorrah you christians?? He may not have been all bad but he wasnt good either.”

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10. Anonymous said... on Dec 17, 2010 at 09:50PM

“We need to stop hiding behind gifts and talents in church and really start living GODLY lives. It doesn't matter what kinf of person you are or what you did for or to people it is about your relationship with CHRIST. HOMOSEXUALALITY IS A SIN and sin will find you and kill you. It's in the book.”

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11. Anonymous said... on Dec 17, 2010 at 09:51PM

“We need to stop hiding behind gifts and talents and start really living for GOD. Lets us also remember that good people will be in hell. It's not about what kind of person you are but your relationship with GOD and HOMOSEXUALALITY is a sin. SIN will find you and will kill you. It's in the book.”

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12. Anonymous said... on Dec 17, 2010 at 09:52PM

“We need to stop hiding behind gifts and talents and start really living for GOD. Lets us also remember that good people will be in hell. It's not about what kind of person you are but your relationship with GOD and HOMOSEXUALALITY is a sin. SIN will find you and will kill you. It's in the book.”

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13. Vera Stanley said... on Apr 7, 2011 at 06:22AM

“The book also says we all fall short of the glory of God and that sin is sin.God also says come unto me and i will give you rest.We all have some demons that we alone can not figth.As far as a relationship my brother had a relationship with Christ at ayoung age,Artie loved the Lord and praised Him from ,time we were little children.Yes all will be accountable for our sins.My brother Artie spent his whole life helping people and just trying to be a friend just like the nigth he died he opened up his home to his freind Kevin.My brother worked really hard to finially get a house and somebody took his life in is dream.He leaves a son behind who one day be a father yet will not be able to share that with his father.My brother was so much morethan being projected here he was a great father my best friend a hard worker a taylor and a singer.The person that killed Artie and Kevin had to be someone that they knew and trusted the neighbor said they open the door now their gone.. stranger no”

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14. Minister Aaron Williams said... on Aug 27, 2011 at 06:49PM

“The music ministry suffered a great lost. Eventhough he is gone, he left a legacy behind through his music. After the death of Moses, God raised up Joshua to take his place, and same is true in this situation. God has raised up a Joshua, through his legacy, that Gospel music going, and it shall not die.”

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15. Raheem said... on Jan 2, 2013 at 10:25PM

“Were the killers ever cought ???”

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16. Eric King said... on Jan 20, 2013 at 06:49PM

“”

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17. Anonymous said... on Jan 20, 2013 at 06:51PM

“I was on the internet researching a group I'd recorded and performed with, Salt Of The Earth. Kevin composed a song I'd sang lead on, LIFT HIM UP, on our "Happy Hour" CD back in 1998. My heart is saddened that I will never get a chance to tell him what a blessing that song was/is to me. My prayers are with all who knew and loved him. R.I.P. Kevin. For you internet preachers on this thread, whom God obviously told was getting into Heaven and who wasn't, just make sure you're right, when your time comes. That's what YOU do!”

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18. carl said... on Mar 6, 2013 at 07:24PM

“i met kevin in the 7th grade back then people would say things about him but it never clicked for some reson we were kids all i knew about him was that he was a cool dude i was a loner and he was not one to judge people so why is everyone judging him he never came at me so i dont care but if i find the person that killed my friend before i leave this life its not going to be nice sorry thats were im at”

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