On July 1, 2005, Luther Ronzoni Vandross Jr. died aged 54. He was a singer, songwriter, and record producer who worked as a background vocalist for different artists including Todd Rundgren, Judy Collins, Chaka Khan, Bette Midler, Diana Ross, David Bowie, Ben E. King, and Donna Summer. He was a member and lead singer of the band Change, and had a successful solo career, recorded sixteen albums and won four “Grammy Awards”.
On July 1, 2005, Renaldo “Obie” Benson died aged 69. He was singer and songwriter, best known as a founding member and the bass singer of the Four Tops, a band that sold over 50 million records and had hits including “Reach Out (I’ll be There)” and “I Can’t Help Myself”. In 1971 Benson co-wrote “What’s Going On” for Marvin Gaye and song that “Rolling Stone” magazine ranked at no. 4 on their list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.
On June 25, 1988, Hillel Slovak died aged 26. He was a musician (guitar) and singer, member of bands Anthem and What Is This?, best known as founding member and guitarist of Red Hot Chili Peppers. His guitar work primarily rooted in funk and hard rock is considered to have been a major influence on the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s early sound.
On May 29, 2019, David Curtis Glover aka Tony “Little Sun” Glover died aged 79. He was singer, musician (harmonica) and music critic. In 1963, together with John Koerner and Dave Ray he formed the blues trio Koerner, Ray & Glover. In the late sixties, Glover was disc jockey on “KDWB-AM” radio in Minneapolis where he formed the band Nine Below Zero. He was a music critic, writing articles for “Rolling Stone”, “Sign Out”, “Hit Parader”, “Creem”, and other music magazines. Glover wrote liner notes for albums by John Lee Hooker, John Hammond, Sonny Terry, Michael Lessac, Sonny & Brownie, Willie & the Bees and the Jayhawks, and for “The Bootleg Series Vol. 4: Bob Dylan Live 1966”, “The Royal Albert Hall Concert”. Glover was the author of several blues harp songbooks and along with Ward Gaines and Scott Dirks, a co-author, of Little Walter biography “Blues with a Feeling: The Little Walter Story”. He taught harmonica playing Mick Jagger and David Johansen.
On May 9, 2020, Richard Wayne Penniman aka Little Richard died aged 87. He was singer, songwriter and musician (piano), one of the most important and influential persons in the popular music. His charismatic showmanship and dynamic music, characterized by frenetic piano playing, pounding back beat and raspy shouted vocals, laid the foundation for rock and roll, but also had important role in formation of other music genres such as soul and funk. For his work Little Richard received numerous awards and was honored by many institutions. In 1986, he was inducted into the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame”; in 1993 he received “Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award”, he was inducted into the “Songwriters Hall of Fame”, received “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the “Recording Academy”; “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the “Rhythm and Blues Foundation”, and received a “Rhapsody & Rhythm Award” from the “National Museum of African American Music”. In 2012, his song “Tutti Frutti” was included in the “National Recording Registry” of the “Library of Congress”, stated that his “unique vocalizing over the irresistible beat announced a new era in music”. Three of his songs “Tutti Frutti,” “Lucille” and “Long Tall Sally” are inducted into the “Grammy Hall of Fame”.
On April 16, 2020, Daniel Bevilacqua aka Christophe died aged 74. He was singer – songwriter and musician (keyboards), known for his chanson – balladeer style. He became famous in France in the early sixties with the song “Aline”. Christophe recorded 15 studio albums, composed music for films and performed as actor in 6 movies.
On April 11, 2017, John Warren Geils Jr. aka J. Geils, Died aged 71. He was singer, songwriter, musician (guitar) and record producer, member of Snoopy and the Sopwith Camels, best known as founding member and leader of the J. Geils Band. In 2015, Geils was named to the “Wall of Honor” at his alma mater, “Bernards High School” in Bernardsville, New Jersey.
On March 20, 2020, Kenneth Ray Rogers aka Kenny Rogers died aged 81. He was singer, songwriter, actor, record producer and entrepreneur, member of the “Country Music Hall of Fame”. He has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, mostly in country music, and charted more than 120 hit singles, becoming one of the best-selling music artists of all time.
On March 17, 2019, Bernard Joseph Tormey aka Bernie Tormé died aged 66. He was songwriter, musician (guitar, singer), record label and recording studio owner. With Robin Guy and John McCoy he formed the band Guy McCoy Tormé, has worked with Ozzy Osbourne, Atomic Rooster, Desperado, but was best known for his work with Gillan.