Generally considered one of the most influential Gospel singers of all time, Marion Williams sung with a full-body growl so intense that anyone who wants to dispute her right to the title had better bring along a megaphone and some throat lozenges. The other side of her style -- soul-shattering falsettos and anointed, exclamatory whoops -- had a direct effect on Little Richard, for one, as well as countless others in both Gospel and secular music circles. From 1948 to 1958 she was the central figure in the ever-touring Ward Singers, stunning audiences with the high-test stage-show/revival meeting and a larger-than-life presence that has made her a legend. A stint with the short-lived Stars of Faith followed, and in 1965 she launched a solo career that was marked by comeback after comeback until her death in 1994. Regardless of where she was on the charts or in her personal life, Williams' singing was never less than spectacular and her commitment to Christ was downright inflammatory.