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Christian & Gospel Music Communities Mourn Passing Of Gabe Patillo

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The Christian & Gospel music communities are mourning the passing of Gabe Patillo who passed away late last week from his battle with cancer. Patillo was a kind-hearted industry veteran who began his career at age 10 as a dancer for multi-platinum-selling DCTalk. He spent most of his adult career sharing a stage with seven-time GRAMMY winner TobyMac as part of Diverse City singing, dancing, choreographing and co-producing tours. Gabe was also the son of GMA President Jackie Patillo. He is survived by his wife, Jenni Patillo and three children, Amara, Milo, and Remy Patillo. A GoFundMe has been established to support Gabe’s family. Please see below for full statements from TobyMac as well as the Gospel Music Association (GMA).

TobyMac:

I wish everyone knew Gabe Patillo.

I wish everyone could walk with him, get challenged by him, collaborate with him, laugh with him, pray with him, meditate on scripture with him and be loved by him. You would be a better person. You would learn to care for others. You would learn to listen. You would hear the hard truth delivered compassionately (most of the time 😉) You would not get by with foolishness but you’d laugh with joy til your belly hurt. You would learn that we can see things differently, but still have respect for one another. You would not be scared of tough conversations about race and politics and social issues or apologetics and interpretations. No, you would dive in and talk it through to find the common ground or respectfully disagree while treating one another with dignity. 

You would know his warm smile. You would know that he lightens a room that is heavy with his quick witted observations or deepens the moments that shouldn’t remain on the surface. His eyes offered love, not the “I want you to like me” kind but the “I see you” kind. The kind of eyes that find the people behind the scenes that do the hardest work but get the least recognition. 

Sure, Gabe could sing, he could rap, he could dance, and he could play trumpet onstage. He’s one of the best performers I’ve ever been around.  He embodied the heart of every song we sang, every night. We thought through every moment of every show together for the last 24 years. We pushed each other to be intentional with every move made, every note played and every word spoken or sang on that stage. But what I will treasure for the rest of my life is behind the curtain; on the bus, in the dressing rooms, at rehearsals, and at home. I saw him become a man, a husband and a father that I respect. A guy that went from being like my lil bro to a man that continues to inspire me in every aspect of my life. What an utter privilege it has been to call him friend.

Please pray for Gabe’s family and our community as we have lost a genuine load-bearing pillar of our village.

Gospel Music Association:

The Christian and Gospel music community today is mourning the loss of a great talent and even greater friend. Gabriel Patillo passed away Friday, April 12th, 2024, surrounded by his loving family. Son of GMA President Jackie Patillo, the entire GMA staff knew and loved Gabe like family. He will be hugely missed. We know heaven is rejoicing but are praying for Jesus to be near to the many friends and family who loved Gabriel so very much.
 
Known for his enormous talent, generous spirit and unending energy, Gabe began honing his creative skills at the young age of ten. As a child he danced for dcTalk, appeared in multiple videos for Brentwood Music and worked as a theater kid at Opryland in Nashville, Tennessee. As an adult, Patillo worked with GRAMMY and GMA Dove Award-winning artist TobyMac as part of Diverse City where he sang background vocals, was a choreographer and dancer and co-produced TobyMac tours. 

Gabriel is survived by his wife, Jenni Patillo, three children, Amara, Milo, and Remy Patillo, his brother, Marcel Patillo and mother, Jackie Patillo.

Most of all, Gabe was known for his lifelong love for Jesus. His faith was part of his every day and the reason for his infectious smile. To know Gabe was to know how much he loved the Lord and his family.

Aaron Cole:

My man Gabe. Remember meeting you at 14, 15 and ever since that day you always looked out and been in my corner. Touring with you and coming to hang and play all my new songs with you and Toby after every show was one of the highlights of my life.
You were a great husband, father, son, artist, creative and i was honored to know you. Anybody can attest that you lit up a room and made everyone feel so comfortable. Hate you’re not here with us anymore but know you’re in no more pain. Gonna miss all of our debates about music and sports. Love you brudda. Rest well.
Jordan Feliz:
Been really hard for me to find the words to write, so I’m gonna try to keep it short.

@gabepatillo you played more of a role in my career than you ever probably knew. You were such a massive encourager for @ajtgrams and I as we started down this crazy life of music. You were an even better friend. I loved watching you on stage every night on @hitsdeeptour I’m gonna miss you so much my brother, but I’m so glad that you aren’t in pain anymore & that you are safely in the arms of Jesus. Love you so much. Please pray for the Patillo family ❤️

If you can, PLEASE GO DONATE TO THE Patillo Go Fund me in my story

Terrian:
Gabe, my brother. I’m sad and struggling to believe this is reality. The memories of joy, laughter, honesty, the dancing, being in the studio, being on stage, just all of it. They’re flooding in and I’m heartbroken and upset that you’re gone. Life will not be the same without you. Ian and I love you, Jenni, and the kids deeply. You guys mean the world to us.
Thanks for always looking out for me from day one. You’re forever my big brother.
Thanks for loving my husband the way that you did. I hadn’t seen Ian look up to someone the way he looked up to you, in a while.
Thanks for pouring into every aspect of creativity with me. My music wouldn’t be what it is without you. Sometimes, you were more passionate about it than I was ha.
Thank you Lord for the gift that was Gabe Patillo. I love you brother. To be absent from the body is to be present with The Lord. That’s what we’re holding onto amidst these moments of pain and moments of shock. We will see you there someday.

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