Keith ‘Wonderboy’ Johnson, the gospel musician who gave us the all-time hit Hide Behind the Mountain, passed away unexpectedly on 30th September 2022. Johnson earned the name ‘Wonderboy’ aged 5 due to his vocal talent. Wonderboy’s label, Black Smoke Music Worldwide, released the following statement:
“One of the current kings of gospel quartet music, Keith ‘Wonderboy’ Johnson, has died suddenly at the age of 50. Johnson was found dead in his Atlanta, GA home this morning. An autopsy is scheduled. Johnson was known for big gospel radio hits such as ‘Let Go and Let God Have His Way,’ ‘Be Right,’ and ‘Hide Behind the Mountain.’”
Keith ‘Wonderboy’ Johnson’s cause of death remains a mystery
The statement by Black Smoke Music Worldwide said an autopsy for the deceased singer had been scheduled. It’s unclear whether the autopsy happened or whether a cause of death has been established.
Black Smoke Music Worldwide’s founder Kerry Douglas said he was in ‘total disbelief.’ Douglas signed Wonderboy after seeing him perform and move the audience at the American Gospel Quartet Convention in Birmingham, Alabama, in the early 90s.
Douglas said Johnson was the first major artist under his label. “Keith was like a brother,” Douglas said. He added:
“I was there when his first child was born. We fussed and fought with each other since we met, but that relationship built this company. A lot of the big artists today stand on Keith’s shoulders because of those sacrifices we both made in those early days. Keith began his career with Black Smoke and ended with Black Smoke.”
Glinda Perkins, the program director for WXVI, a gospel radio station in Montgomery, Alabama, praised Wonderboy’s bubbly personality. She continued:
“He was very personable and very serious about music. He was his own best pitchman and even though he had people who worked for him, he was always the best promoter for his music.”