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Composite fading (i.e., multipath fading and shadowing together) has increasingly been analyzed by means of the K channel and related models. Nevertheless, these models do have computational and analytical difficulties. Motivated by this context, we propose a mixture gamma (MG) distribution for the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of wireless channels. Not only is it a more accurate model for composite fading, but is also a versatile approximation for any fading SNR. As this distribution consists of N (≥ 1) component gamma distributions, we show how its parameters can be determined by using probability density function (PDF) or moment generating function (MGF) matching. We demonstrate the accuracy of the MG model by computing the mean square error (MSE) or the Kullback-Leibler (KL) divergence or by comparing the moments. With this model, performance metrics such as the average channel capacity, the outage probability, the symbol error rate (SER), and the detection capability of an energy detector are readily derived.