Marvin Sapp, a renowned American gospel music singer and pastor, suffered an immense personal tragedy in September 2010 when his wife of over 20 years, MaLinda Sapp, passed away after a long and courageous battle with colon cancer. MaLinda’s death left Marvin bereft and heartbroken, as she had been an integral part of his life and career.
Early Life and Career of Marvin Sapp
Marvin Louis Sapp was born on January 28, 1967, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He began singing gospel music at the tender age of 4 in his local church. During his childhood, he met MaLinda Prince, who would later become his beloved wife.
After briefly attending the unaccredited Aenon Bible College in Indianapolis, Indiana, Sapp embarked on his professional gospel music career in the 1990s as part of the group Commissioned. In 1996, he decided to establish himself as a solo contemporary gospel artist. Over the next decade, Sapp released seven very successful albums and achieved crossover fame on mainstream R&B charts with his hit song “Never Would Have Made It” in 2007.
Marvin Sapp’s Marriage to Malinda
Marvin married MaLinda Prince in 1992, and they had three children together – Marvin II, Mikaila, and Madison. By all accounts, they enjoyed a strong, loving, and supportive relationship. MaLinda helped manage Marvin’s thriving career, in addition to serving as the administrative pastor at his Lighthouse Full Life Center Church in their hometown of Grand Rapids.
Both Marvin and Malinda were devout Christians active in ministry. Marvin credited his wife as being the driving force behind his 2007 smash inspirational hit “Never Would Have Made It.” At the peak of his career with his album “Thirsty” dominating the charts in 2008, Marvin described MaLinda as his “best friend” and biggest cheerleader.
MaLinda’s Tragic Battle with Cancer
In 2009, MaLinda Sapp was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer at the age of 43. What ensued was a courageous 18-month battle for her life. Although she fought valiantly, the disease tragically claimed her life on September 9, 2010, at the age of 45.
Marvin Sapp announced his wife’s passing in an emotional statement, expressing profound grief over her loss. It was a devastating blow to him both personally and professionally. MaLinda had been by his side for almost his entire adult life, and her death left an irreplaceable void.
In the aftermath, Marvin took a 4-month break from his singing and preaching duties to mourn and spend time with his grieving teenage children. He later said this was the most difficult period in his life, as he struggled to come to terms with MaLinda’s death and raising their kids alone.
Coping with the Loss & Carrying on MaLinda’s Legacy
Although he seriously contemplated retiring from public life in 2011, Marvin Sapp ultimately found the strength to carry on his career as a tribute to MaLinda’s memory. He speaks often about the invaluable role MaLinda played in his success.
Marvin continues to openly share with fans that he still grieves the loss of his beloved wife and best friend. He makes it clear that her death left scars that will never truly heal. However, his Christian faith provides resilience, as does the desire to continue MaLinda’s legacy by inspiring others through his gospel music.
In interviews, Marvin emphasizes that the pain of losing a spouse is a lifelong journey – some days are excruciatingly difficult, while other days fond memories make him smile. He also speaks of the challenges of being a single father, which gives him strength and purpose.
While the tragic loss of his soulmate still weighs heavily on Marvin Sapp’s heart, he is determined to carry on, both for the sake of his kids as well as MaLinda’s memory. By channeling his grief into uplifting, healing music that brings hope to others, Marvin ensures that his beloved wife’s inspirational legacy lives on.