Passing: Billie Barrett Greenbey of the Barrett Sisters

By Libra Boyd
Gospel Music Fever

Billie Barrett Greenbey has passed on, Dr. Patricia James Holloway informed GMF Friday morning (Feb. 28).  She was 91 years old, or to hear the classy and sassy legendary singer tell it, “39 and holding.”

Auntie Billie, as I affectionately called her, was one-third of the famed Barrett Sisters.  Her older sister Delois Barrett Campbell died in 2011 (see related story).  Younger sister Rodessa Barrett Porter is now the sole surviving member of the singing trio.

Whether leading or backing, Auntie Billie’s robust contralto was a perfect complement to her sisters, helping them earn the nickname, “Sweet Sisters of Zion.”  Albertina Walker once proclaimed, “I’ll tell the world, ain’t no greater singers than these Barrett girls.  They’re the singingest honeys!”

GMF joins the masses in extending heartfelt sympathy to daughter Tina, sister Rodessa, and the entire family.  We hold them in prayer now and in the days ahead.

I will play music in tribute to Auntie Billie during the Gospel Music Fever Radio Show on Monday, March 9, at 1 PM ET.  Be sure to tune in at

Here’s more from The Journal of Gospel Music’s Bob Marovich: RIP Billie Barrett Greenbey, Member of the Barrett Sisters