Words are our Best Weapon Against the Lies of History (Truth in the Root of the Word).
(All links are active; PLEASE PAY HOMAGE TO ASCENDED FAMILY. Thank you.)
This article will attempt to address two issues, the Western-world’s depopulation agenda of melaninated* beings and Ritual Killings.
It has been said, “Without Melaninated People (the Original Indigenous People), the World would cease to exist. They are the Heart and Soul of the Planet.” I never knew how true that statement was until I started doing Research.
As I became increasingly aware of ALL the wonders these people brought-forth (higher sources) into this World, did I actually realize the magnitude of that statement.
Their greatness was not limited to Music, Sports and Entertainment, but included Advance Sciences and Technology (did you know the cell phone was invented by a so-called Black man? Or the 3-Dimensional Projector by a Melanin-rich NASA scientist). And during the 1800’s, the Gas Mask, Traffic Light and hundreds upon hundreds of other patented inventions. Once I discovered the things they dont teach you in school, I also learned about many of these people untimely death, the lose of the patents, documents and land deeds.
*terms such as African-American, Black and the like are Misnomers. The original American people (North, Central, South and the surrounding islands of the Americas) are the Copper-Colored Bushy-Haired Races found there by the colonist; as defined by Noah Webster in his 1828 Webters Dictionary.
IMPORTANT Press Release:
The landmass and all its regions are now called Northern Lands, a sovereign (non-state) under the authority of Indigenous Land Owner, Ancient Royalty Sovereign Crown Denderah.
Email / Fax Press Release to Media outlets, Newspapers, Companies, Websites to update the regions listings.
*Norwegians Evacuation and Removal Announcement
– February 25, 2015
Northern Lands Sovereign Crown Denderah Issues Edit – February 20, 2015
A Compass Change for Norway: New role for Norwegians – February 16, 2015
*Norwegian Government Shutdown– February 13, 2015
Indigenous Land Owner Repossess Norway –January 26, 2015
Norway Ordered to Stop Drilling – January 21, 2015
Norway loses $860 Billion Sovereign Wealth Fund to
Indigenous Land Owner – November 13, 2015
Norway Forfeits All Lands and All Resources – November 07, 2014
Nazi Experiments leads to Decolonization of Norway – October 30, 2014
Decolonization Declared (video) – October 23, 2014
[See Comment Section for further details]
Melanin-rich people don’t die of illness- it’s not in their genes; unless, purposely put there.
Despite what scientist say, we are not the same underneath the skin. You can clearly see that from the actions of these “people” and their murderous ways. Our genes are unique to say the least. Ever hear of The Immortal Cells of Henretta Lacks, the Tuskegee Experiment (1932-1973), Planned Parenthood (founded by Eugenicist Margaret Sanger)… just what are all those aborted babies being used for? Do the Science, and the Research, its there.
The story of Vertus Hardiman, an 80 year old man and the horrors of experimentation as a child left him with a deformity; here is his story. http://www.holeinthehead.com/
These experiements has not stopped. Yet continue in new form and with new weapons everyday. Think about the lastest Pharmaceutical drugs offered on the market and you will get an idea…Viagra, Melanotan. They have enough Melantonin Pills to last til 2050…thou they wont be around to use them.
you better get wise…
Please save the children. These creatures are eating them, and using them for spare parts:
JET Magazine conducts a special investigative report on the 800,000 children who are reported missing each year. Overwhelming family grief multiplied by the lack of mainstream media coverage begs the question: How do we find our missing children?
[Feb. 4, 2014: the original video linked contained information relative to the above truth of what is happening to these children, and thus has been removed from Youtube. This was the original link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yo5ThvUTbk0. You will notice the below linked interviews Can Not be found on Youtube, or have been removed.]
Co-Founder, President and CEO of the Black & Missing Foundation, Inc.http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/segment/missing-black-children/515dc6d402a7600311000158
I use to work in advertising so I am use to noticing trends, and human behavior. I noticed a lot of young men (and even school age boys) hanging around…Mostly observing. They all wore similar attire, a beard (if adult), yankees blue baseball cap, sometimes carrying black backpack and earphones. The attire by itself is not very unusual and would most likely be looked upon as a trend, but what was not a trend is they all exhibit the exact same behavior. Silent, expressionless (emotionless), observing (mostly women/ girls) and no music coming from their headset.
With the Obvious ritual killing of Singer Whitney Houston during the Grammys (Feb 2012), which seems to state, “If All World Nations are “on-board” no need to hide anymore”.
That sentiment has become even more apparent with the involvement of Students and Youth in hate crimes. They have become a product of their environment, mental instability, through modified foods, technology and media. The people today lack the ability to discern the consequence of their actions.
To the Neighborhood
With Students and Children in hate crimes to further this agenda is prevalent in every Western community. ARE they racist are just insecure??? Linked is an amazing discussion from 1974. Dr. William Shockley explains his position on Dysgenics of melaninated people, insisting they intellectually inferior; while Dr. France Cress Welshing argues the contrary.
Dr. Cress Welshing, “Hitler said the same thing, that the Jews were inferior to the Aryans, and Hitler was aware that the Semites had genetically dominate material to the Aryans. If we begin to understand the way the people were in Europe at the time the Semites arrived from Africa; they were people with substantial amount of color and who had very kinky hair because they were from the continent of Africa. The White people that were there had a reaction, a color reaction, to the Semites that is no different to the reaction of the Whites in this area of the World or any other area of the World to people who have the genetic capacity to produce color and who can genetically annihilate their position.”
So, what could possibly be the reason behind this world-wide ordinance against the melanin-rich/copper-colored people of the planet? I suspect it has to do with Europeans below (replacement-level) birthrates, Are Germans (teutonic nordic people) an endangered species?by Erik Kirschbaum (23Jan06) and cau.htm and european-birth-rates-data-germany.
Indeed, these numbers are startling; however has this situation created their unimaginable means to combate this problem? There is no way around it, you must get along with the planet (and ALL her creations) or she will get rid of YOU. As it stands, No Tree, Bird, Mammal, People, Land, Air, Soil is safe near this creature for depopulation.
Here is a comment from a Reader and THINKER, on the book, Whatever Happen To Common Sense, by Elmer Thomas Williams Jr :
“… The political powerhouses in control are using the media to divide races and create tension and dissent so that they will take sides on political issues to control public opinion, grab votes, and control the masses by dividing them one against another. They have created a mentality where people feel like nothing is under their control, that they do not matter, and that none of their efforts will result in any accomplishments. People I’m telling you that is the furthest thing from the truth. They are afraid of unity. Very afraid.”
Chaka Khan was direct when explaining the true cause of Whitney’s death during an interview.
In the full interview Chaka Khan used the terms “demonic” and “sacrifice” when describing the music industry? Judging by the symbolism found at the Grammy awards, she was probably spot-on!
Your participation is your Energy
These demons need your energy and participation to survive.
During the Grammys Nicki Minaj begins her performance tied up in what appears to be Catholic church. The force that possesses her is apparently too strong to hold her down though, and as the church windows explode, she is unbound. Nicki then descends into a church gone wild, complete with strippers rubbing on young priests who are attempting to pray to God.
The choir make a mockery of the classic Christian hymn O Come All Ye Faithful, a pope figure enters and makes Nicki levitate. Nude demons writhe like snakes on stage as the “song” ends.
The horrific music and demonic dancing seemed all the more inappropriate as the Music Industry was supposedly mourning the tragic death of Whitney Houston.
Your awareness is being used against you. What you focus on is used to create Their Reality. I come from an Advertising background, unfortunately or maybe not; because without this insider insight I too may have fallen victim to their shenanigans.
Here is what Johnny Depp said in an interview when asked if he saw his latest movie, “I didn’t see it. Once my job is done on a film, it really isn’t any of my business. Interviewer: “So you deliberately dont look at the finished product?” Johnny, “Yeah, I stay as far away as I possibly can. If I can, I stay in a profound state of ignorance as possible”.
An old movie, Agency, gives insight into the advertising media end of it. This BEAST is not creative, but uses the same tactics over and over… and yet, you still do nothing to save yourself.
All Links below are active. Please click to pay homage to our ascended family.
DEATH OF A BLACK SUPERMODEL:
Nicknamed the “black princess”, the 47-year-old Katoucha Niane went missing from her home on a central stretch of the river on the night of February 1.
The mother of three disappeared after being dropped off from a party and her handbag was later recovered near her houseboat.
Born in Conakry, Katoucha worked with the greatest couture stars at the height of her career in the 1980s including Saint Laurent.
Katoucha left the catwalk for good in 1994, but in recent years she made headlines as an outspoken campaigner against female circumcision, launching a foundation against the practice. (Listen to what happened to melanin-rich model Waris Dirie in Belgium)
Excised at the age of nine, in her home country Guinea, Katoucha recounted the ordeal in a recent book entitled “In My Flesh”. She said she saw her career as a top model as a form of “revenge” for the horror of excision.”I embodied the most arrogant and admired kind of femininity, I who was supposed to be diminished,” she wrote.
Police say the body was found Thursday and that a subsequent autopsy confirmed it as the model’s.
Police say the body showed no signs of foul play, pointing to the possibility that she may have fallen accidentally in the river.
R&B duo “Damian Dame” (pictured left) consisted of Debra Jean Hurd aka “Deah Dame,” and Bruce Edward Brodus aka Damian. They were the first act signed to the “LaFace,” label by Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and Antonio “L.A.” Reid. They were famous for the following hits, “Exclusivity,” “Right Down To It,” and “Gotta Learn My Rhythm.” Deah would die in an car accident on June 27, 1994. She was 35 years old. Damian would die on the same day (June 27th) two years later of colon cancer.
Singer Richard “Dimples” Fields was famous for the songs, “If It Ain’t One Thing, It’s Another,” and “She’s Got Papers On Me.” Fields would die of an massive stroke on Jan. 12th, 2000. He was 58 years old.
Edmund Sylvers was the lead singer of the group “The Sylvers.” At age 47, he would succumb to lung cancer in 2004, following a 10-month illness. The Sylvers hits include: “Boogie Fever,” and “Hot Line.”
Actress Teresa Graves appeared on “Laugh-In,” and starred in the television series, “Get Christie Love,” she popularized the word “sugar,” in the series. Graves died in a house fire four years ago. She was found unconscious in a rear addition to the house where a faulty spare heater sparked the blaze and she was pronounced dead at the scene. It took 50 firefighters, 30 minutes to put the fire out.
Dino Connor, 28, was the lead singer of the group “H-Town.” He was killed along with his girlfriend in 2003. They had just left the studio when their vehicle was struck by a SUV that ran a red light. The group rose to prominence 12 years ago with their smash hit, “Knockin The Boots.”
Renee Diggs was the lead vocalist for the group “Starpoint.” Their big hit was “Object Of My Desire.” Diggs died 2005 (at the age of 50) of heart-related complications and she also suffered from multiple sclerosis. Miss Diggs was 50.
Singing trio “The Jones Girls,” were sisters who sung background for Diana Ross. They rose to fame after Ross got them a record deal to go out on their own. Their hits included, “You’re Going To Make Me Love Somebody Else,” “Dance Turned Into Romance”, and my favorite Nights Over Egypt.” Sadly, member Valorie Jones, 45, died in 2001, cause of death is unknown.
Actress Shirley Hemphill appeared in the 70’s sitcom “What’s Happening.” She died in 1999 from kidney failure. She was 50. It was nearly two weeks before her body was discovered in her home.
Lynn Collins who sung with James Brown and recorded the smash hit “Think“ in the early 70’s died last year of cardiac arrhythmia. She was 56 years old.
Van McCoy (January 6, 1940-July 6, 1979) was a music producer, musician, songwriter, and orchestra conductor most famous for his massive 1975 disco hit “The Hustle,” which is still played on dance floors today, almost 30 years after his death. He is also notable for producing such recording artists as Gladys Knight and the Pips, The Stylistics, Aretha Franklin, Brenda & The Tabulations, David Ruffin (Walk Away From Love) and Peaches & Herb, Melba Moore (Lean On Me) and Stacy Lattisaw. McCoy died of a massive heart attack in 1979.
Harry Ray (first photo) was the original lead singer of the “The Moments,” and “Ray Goodman & Brown.” Their hits included, “Love On A Two Way Street,” “Special Lady,” and “Happy Anniversary.” Ray would die of a massive stroke in 1992.
Harold Melvin (center, link to his tribute page) formed the group “Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes,” with Teddy Pendergrass on lead vocals. The group had numerous hits during the 70’s, including “Wake Up Everybody,” ,”Bad Luck” and “The Love I Lost“. Pendergrass would leave to pursue a successful solo career. Harold Melvin continued to tour with various lineups of Blue Notes until suffering a massive stroke. Melvin died on March 24, 1997 at the age of fifty-seven.
Singer Gwen Guthrie is best known for her hit, “Ain’t Nothing Going On But The Rent,“ in 1986. Guthrie started her career by moonlighting as a singer of commercial jingles, sometimes with her friend Valerie Simpson (of Ashford & Simpson fame). A songwriting partnership with Patrick Grant resulted in Ben E. King’s comeback single, “Supernatural Thing,” and “This Time I’ll Be Sweeter,” covered by numerous artists. She was also the writer of Roberta Flack’s “God Don’t Like Ugly,” and she contributed to the Sister Sledge album, “Circle Of Love.” Miss Guthrie died of uterine cancer on February 3, 1999 at the age of 48.
Wylie Draper, the actor who portrayed Michael Jackson in the mini-series, “The Jacksons: An American Dream,” died a year after the program aired. Draper died from a rare form of leukemia.
Theodore “Teddy” Wilson (pictured on the bottom half of the above photo with the mustache) was an character actor best known for his recurring role as Sweet Daddy Williams on the CBS sitcom Good Times from 1976 until 1979. Wilson also played the role of Al Dunbar in a popular two-part episode of the 1970s sitcom What’s Happening!!. In the conclusion of the two-parter, Wilson’s character gets arrested for bootlegging a Doobie Brothers concert. Wilson was married to actress Joan Pringle. He died from AIDS-related complications on July 21, 1991 at the age of 47 in Los Angeles, California.
Vocalist/writer/producer David Townsend (pictured in the hat) from the ’80s vocal trio “Surface,” known for such lush ballads as “Happy,” “Closer Than Friends,” “Shower Me With Your Love” and “The First Time,” was found dead inside his Northridge, California home by a close friend. The cause of death was unknown. Townsend was 50. Townsend was the son of the late songwriter/producer Ed Townsend, who was responsible for co-writing “Let’s Get It On” by the late great Marvin Gaye and had his own solo hit, “For Your Love” back in 1958.
Kevin Peter Hall was an actor famous for his roles as Dr. Elvin Lincoln in Misfits of Science (1985), the ‘monsters’ in Prophecy (1979), Harry and the Hendersons (1987), Predator (1987), and Predator 2 (1990). He also had guest spots on shows like Night Court and Star Trek: The Next Generation. He was frequently cast in monster roles due to his extremely tall stature—he stood 7′ 2½” (2.20 m). His mother stood a top height of 6’2″ and his father stood 6’6.” He married 227 actress Alaina Reed in 1989 after appearing on the program. In the fall of 1990, Hall was involved in a car accident in Los Angeles and required a blood transfusion, which was later discovered to be contaminated with HIV. He contracted AIDS and died from complications related to the disease shortly afterwards. He and his wife had two children.
‘REAL LIFE DEATHS’ OF 3 ACTORS WHO APPEARED IN THE FILM “A SOLDIER’S STORY“
Larry Riley (pictured above on the set of A Soldier’s Story) was an actor, best known to screen viewers for his role as C.J. Memphis in the movie “A Soldier’s Story,” and as Frank Williams in the prime-time soap opera Knots Landing. When Riley wasn’t working as an actor, he was a respected craftsman who built Hollywood sets. He died of AIDS in 1992. He was forced to give up his role in “Knots Landing,” because of his declining health due to the illness.
Adolph Caesar is best remembered for his role in director Norman Jewison’s film, “A Soldier’s Story,” for which he received a nomination for “Best Actor in a Supporting Role” from both the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes. He also played the role of “Old Mister,” opposite Whoopi Goldberg and Danny Glover, in Steven Spielberg’s film, “The Color Purple.” Adolph Caesar was working on the Los Angeles set of the 1986 film, “Tough Guys,” when he suffered a heart attack and died a short time later.
Howard Rollins (<—-A MUST SEE, so beautiful to behold.) was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Daytime Drama Series for his role on Another World. Rollins was also nominated for the 1981 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the motion picture, Ragtime. In 1984, he starred in director Norman Jewison’s film, A Soldier’s Story which led to his role as “Virgil Tibbs” on the In the Heat of the Night television series based on Jewison’s acclaimed motion picture of the same name. In 1993, Rollins spent about a month in jail for driving under the influence and reckless driving. Because of continued legal problems, Rollins was ultimately dropped from In the Heat of the Night and was replaced by Carl Weathers. Rollins was invited back as a guest star on several episodes in the seventh season, but further legal problems led to his being totally banned from the county where the series was filmed. During this time, Rollins changed his appearance and appeared on a talk show in feminine looking clothes. Rollins died in 1996 after complications from AIDS-related lymphoma and was interred in the Woodlawn Cemetery in his native Baltimore. He had been diagnosed with the condition approximately six weeks earlier.
In 1993, Earth, Wind & Fire saxophonist Don Myrick was fatally shot by LAPD in a case of mistaken identity.
Roger Troutman November 29, 1951 – April 25, 1999 was the lead singer of the band Zapp. Born in Hamilton, Ohio, Roger was the fourth of nine children. On a Sunday morning, April 25, 1999, Roger Troutman was found shot and critically wounded outside his northwest Dayton recording studio around 7 a.m. According to doctors, the 47-year-old had been shot several times in the torso and was in critical condition; he died during surgery at the local hospital “Good Samaritan Hospital and Health Center.” Roger’s brother Larry was discovered dead in a car a few blocks away with a single gunshot wound to the head. A pistol was found inside the vehicle, which matched the description of a car leaving the scene of Roger Troutman’s shooting according to witnesses. Police concluded it to be an apparent murder-suicide, but family members could not offer any reason or motive. It is likely that a personal dispute had developed between the two brothers; as far as can be determined, Larry shot Roger, then shot himself. Roger Troutman is known for popularizing the talk box within the rap community. He was very popular with bay area rappers such as Tupac Shakur and Spice 1. He collaborated with Tupac and Dr. Dre on “California Love,” which made the top 10 on the charts and was nominated for a Grammy for best rap performance by a duo or group in 1997.
Grover Washington, Jr. (December 12, 1943 – December 17, 1999) was a jazz-funk musician born in Buffalo, New York. Along with George Benson, David Sanborn, Bob James, Chuck Mangione, Herb Alpert, and Spyro Gyra, he is considered by many to be one of the founding fathers of the smooth jazz genre. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Washington made some of the genre’s most memorable hits, including “Mr. Magic,” “Black Frost,” and “The Best is Yet to Come.” In addition, he performed very frequently with other artists, including Bill Withers on “Just the Two of Us“ (still in regular rotation on radio today) and Phyllis Hyman on “A Sacred Kind of Love.” He is also remembered for his take on a Dave Brubeck classic, called “Take Another Five”, and for his hit “Soulful Strut.” On December 17th, 1999, while waiting in the green room after taping four songs for the The Early Show, at CBS Studios in New York City, Washington collapsed. He was taken to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at about 7:30 p.m. His doctors determined that he had suffered a massive heart attack. He was 56 when he died.
Chic was one of the top selling groups of the late 70’s with hits “Good Times,” Le Freak,” etc., and members, Nile Rodgers & Bernard Edwards (bassist) were a top-notch in demand production team for Diana Ross (Upside Down, I’m Coming Out), Sister Sledge (We Are Family, The Greatest Dancer), Blondie (Rapture), etc. Sadly, at the age of 43, Bernard Edwards (pictured above, 3rd from the left) died of pneumonia while touring with the group “Power Station,” in Tokyo in 1996. Edwards left behind a wife and five kids. Chic drummer Tony Thompson (pictured above, on the end) would die of kidney cancer in November of 2003.
Renaldo “Obie” Benson (2nd photo, left) a member of Motown singing group the Four Tops, died two years ago at age 69. The singer died in a Detroit hospital from lung cancer. He was diagnosed after having a leg amputated due to circulation problems. The Four Tops sold 50 million records and had hits including Reach Out (I’ll be There) and I Can’t Help Myself. The only surviving original members are Levi Stubbs and Abdul “Duke” Fakir. Lawrence Payton (2nd photo with glasses) died in 1997 of liver cancer. Levi Stubbs, lead singer of the Four Tops has cancer and suffered a stroke and is sometimes confined to a wheelchair.
Paul Edward Winfield (May 22, 1939–March 7, 2004) was an Academy Award-nominated television and film actor. Winfield was openly gay in his private life, but remained discreet about it in the public eye. He was best known for his portrayal of a Louisiana sharecropper who struggles to support his family during the Great Depression in the landmark film “Sounder,” and as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the television miniseries “King.” Winfield also narrated the show “City Confidential,” on the A&E channel. Winfield died of a heart attack in 2004; he was 64. His long-time partner of 30 years, architect Charles Gillan Jr., preceded him in death in 2002.
Fred “Rerun” Berry was an actor best known for the role of Fred “Rerun” Stubbs on the popular 1970s television show What’s Happening!! During the 1980s, Berry battled drug addiction and alcoholism. He revived the character of Rerun in the series What’s Happening Now!!, but would only be on that show for 1 year. During the 1990s he became a Baptist minister and lost 100 pounds after being diagnosed with diabetes. He was married six times to four different women. Berry died in 2003 at his Los Angeles home where he was recovering from a stroke. He was 52.
Willi Smith (February 29, 1948-April 17, 1987) was one of the most successful African-American fashion designers in fashion history. At its peak, his company WilliWear Ltd. sold $25 million worth of clothing a year. Although the company bared his name and he was the public figurehead, the majority of the revenue generated-went to white investors. Smith was also the brother of model Tookie Smith. Tookie had a long-term relationship with actor Robert DeNiro and is the mother of his twins. Willie designed the wedding dress worn by Mary Jane Watson when she married Peter Parker in the Spider-Man comic book and comic strip in 1987 and the suits for Edwin Schlossberg and his groomsmen when he married Caroline Kennedy in 1986. Smith also designed clothes for Spike Lee ‘s 1987 film School Daze. Smith died unexpectedly at the relatively young age of 39 after contracting pneumonia while on a trip to India, apparently as a result of AIDS. It is suspected that Smith, himself, didn’t know he had the disease although those around him knew he was fragile in his last days.
Max Robinson (May 1, 1939 – December 20, 1988) was a television journalist and was the Chicago based co-anchor of ABC News “World News Tonight” from 1978-1983 in the United States, and is best known for being the only (as of 2006) African American broadcast network news anchor in the United States. He was also a founder of the National Association of Black Journalists. Robinson’s ABC tenure was marked by conflicts between him and the management of ABC News over viewpoints and the portrayal of Black America in the news. In addition, he was known by his co-workers to show up late for work or sometimes not show up at all, along with his moods, and his use of alcohol escalated. In addition, Robinson was known to fight racism at any turn and often felt unworthy of the admiration he received and was not pleased with what he had accomplished. He was often considered a mentor to young black broadcast journalists. Robinson found out he had AIDS while he was hospitalized for pneumonia in an Illinois hospital, but he kept it a secret. In the fall of 1988, Robinson was in Washington to deliver a speech at Howard University’s School of Journalism when he became increasingly ill. Robinson checked himself into Howard University Hospital, where he died of AIDS on December 20, 1988. Robinson never knew how he contracted the disease since he didn’t engage in high-risk behavior. Robinson was survived by-three ex-wives and four children.
Raymond St. Jacques (March 1, 1930 – August 27, 1990) was an African-American actor. Born in Hartford, Connecticut, he was known for playing the roles of Coffin Ed in the 1970 blaxploitation classic Cotton Comes to Harlem, Rawhide and a two year stint as Judge Clayton C. Thomas on the well-forgotten Syndicated TV show Superior Court from 1988 to 1990. He died from AIDS related lymphoma in Los Angeles, California at age 60. He was the father of Sterling St. Jacques (who died in 1984 from AIDS). St. Jacques and actor Paul Winfield were common fixtures at gay clubs in the Castro district of San Francisco when they were in town in the 70’s and 80’s.
Sadly, actor Calvin Lockhart died from complications of a stroke in the Bahamas, recently. He was 72. (born Bert Cooper; October 18, 1934 – March 29, 2007) He is one of the most beautiful men I’ve ever seen. Flawless skin, snow white teeth, naturally curly hair, beautiful black eyes and long lashes. In January, Lockhart made his last movie “Rain,” which was filmed in The Bahamas and not yet released. He is survived by his mother, Minerva Cooper; his wife, Jennifer Miles-Lockhart; sons Michael Lockhart and Julien Lockhart Miles; brothers Carney, Eric and Phillip Cooper; sisters, Melba and Delores. R.I.P. Mr. Lockhart.
Doreen Waddell, a former vocalist with the groups Soul II Soul and KLF, died in a traffic accident, apparently after running from a store where she had been accused of shoplifting, police said. She was 36.
Waddell died March 1, 2002 after she was hit by cars on a highway in Shoreham in southern England, Sussex police said. It took several days to identify her body.
Police said it appeared she had been running from a supermarket after being confronted about shoplifting. She was struck by three cars on the nearby A27 highway and was pronounced dead at a local hospital. Goods from the store were found scattered across the road.
Waddell, who used the stage name Do’reen, sang on the influential British dance band’s best-selling 1989 album “Club Classics Volume I” and was lead vocalist on the songs “Feel Free” and “Happiness.”
By the time the Force M.D’s made a record deal, signing with Tommy Boy Records in 1984, they had already developed into a pure quiet storm/urban R&B group, with their top-ten R&B hit “Tears” from the Love Letters album, signified by their street attitude. They produced a collection of R&B hits throughout the ’80s, but their sole pop hit was the Top Ten Jimmy Jam- and Terry Lewis-penned love song “Tender Love” from both their second album Chillin’ (1986) and the 1985 feature film and soundtrack Krush Groove. With the exception of their first album, the group was also the first act on Tommy Boy to have major-label distribution through its then-parent Warner Bros. Records. Tragedy struck the group three times with the passing of three of its members: Charles “Mercury” Nelson suffered a fatal heart attack in 1995, Antoine “TCD” Lundy died of Lou Gehrig’s disease in 1998 and DJ Dr. Rock died under unknown circumstances.
Johnnie Wilder, Jr. (July 3, 1949 – May 13, 2006), was the co-founder and lead vocalist, of the international R&B/funk group Heatwave. Heatwave was a popular group during the late-1970s, with hits such as “Boogie Nights,” “Always and Forever” and “ Groove Line“ on which Wilder sang co-lead vocals.
In February 1979, a van struck Wilder’s car, paralyzing him from the neck down and hospitalizing him for a year. During the 1980s and 1990s, Wilder went on to record other albums with the group and later began a gospel career, singing a cappella on albums My Goal and One More Day.
He died in his sleep on May 13, 2006 at his home in Clayton, Ohio, at age 56. The cause of his death is unknown.
Michael Jonas Evans (November 3, 1949 – December 14, 2006) (usually credited as Mike Evans), was an actor and co-creator of the show “Good Times,” with Eric Monte (Ralph Carter’s character Michael Evans was named after him).
Evans was born in Salisbury, North Carolina. His father, Theodore Evans Sr., was a dentist, and his mother, Annie Sue Evans, was a school teacher. His family later moved to Los Angeles, where he graduated from Los Angeles High School. He later studied acting at Los Angeles City College.
Evans is most famous for creating the recurring role of Lionel Jefferson on All in the Family and was the first (and eventually final) actor to play Lionel on the spin-off The Jeffersons. He played Lionel on The Jeffersons for much of its 11-year run, with the majority of his appearances occurring from 1979-1983. Opera singer/actor Damon Evans played the role for a few years of The Jeffersons, as Michael was occupied in the production of Good Times. He returned after Good Times was cancelled in 1979.
His last TV role was in 2000, on an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger. Evans was also a real estate investor and owned properties in California’s Inland Empire.
As the original Lionel, his absence was noticed at a Sherman Hemsley TV Land special, which aired in July 2006. Most of the other surviving Jeffersons cast members were present, as well as Sally Struthers and the cast of “Amen.”
Evans died of throat cancer at his mother’s home in Twentynine Palms, California at the age of 57. The announcement of his death was not released until a week later.
During her early years as an actress, Rosalind Cash moonlighted as a hospital aide, waitress, salesgirl, and nightclub singer. Cash made her Broadway bow in the 1966 production The Wayward Stork. Her film career began when Charlton Heston personally selected her to co-star in his 1971 sci-fi vehicle “The Omega Man.”
Daytime-drama devotees know Cash best as the matriarchal Mary Mae Ward on “General Hospital,” but she has made many appearances on television in series, telepics, and miniseries. One thing that set Cash apart from other African-American actresses was her refusal to play stereotypical roles. Though she rarely had the opportunity to demonstrate the full extent of her range and ability, Cash’s characters were intelligent, independent, and sexy. In 1987, Cash was given the Phoenix Award by the Black American Cinema Society in honor of her achievements. In 1992, her name was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame.
Cash died of cancer in the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles at the age of 56.
Bentley was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and moved to Los Angeles with his mother Loyce, who wished to ignite her career as a singer. Bentley was befriended by author and hotel magnate Christopher Spencer, who was his personal manager during his career on Moesha.
He worked on the film Buffalo Soldiers with Danny Glover. He was involved in a lawsuit with a security guard at Sunset/Gower Studios in Hollywood in which the guard accused Bentley and his friends of beating him.
On January 18, 2005, he was killed in a single-car accident in southern California’s Ventura County. He was driving on Highway 118 near Simi Valley (which is 30 miles northwest of Los Angeles) when his vehicle went over an embankment, ejecting him (the sole occupant) from the vehicle and into traffic where five cars struck him. He was 31 and the father of two young daughters.
Merlin Santana (March 14, 1976 – November 9, 2002), was a Dominican American television and film actor best known for his role as teenager Romeo on The Steve Harvey Show. He also played Rudy’s boyfriend Stanley on The Cosby Show.
Merlin Santana was born in Washington Heights, Manhattan, New York, to parents from the Dominican Republic.
On November 9, 2002, Santana died after being shot in the head while sitting in the passenger seat of a friend’s car. He was 26 years old.
He was buried on November 18, 2002, and left behind a now 11 year old daughter.
Tamara Dobson (May 14, 1947 or 1944 – October 2, 2006) was an actress and fashion model. She was born in Baltimore, Maryland and received her degree in fashion illustration from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Dobson, who stood 6 feet 2 inches, eventually became a fashion model for Vogue Magazine. She made a few films in Hollywood but is best known for her roles in the Blaxploitation films, Cleopatra Jones (1973) and Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold (1975).
According to published reports, Dobson died on October 2, 2006 in Baltimore, Maryland of complications from pneumonia and multiple sclerosis, her brother, Peter Dobson, said. She was 62.
Sonji Clay-Glover, the first wife of boxing legend Muhammad Ali, was found dead in 2005 in her Hyde Park home on Chicago’s South Side, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. She was 59.
The office on Wednesday said her death was reported to them as being of natural causes so no autopsy would be performed. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Clay-Glover’s nephew believes she may have suffered a heart attack.
“She was an independent-minded woman and she wanted to be herself,” H.D. “Doc” White, Clay’s friend and record producer, told the Sun-Times. “She was kind, but she just wasn’t a very submissive woman. She was a very, very spirited woman.”
Vivian Malone Jones, (pictured above with former Governor George Wallace) is one of two black students whose effort to enroll at the University of Alabama led to George Wallace’s infamous “stand in the schoolhouse door” in 1963, died in 2005. She was 63.
Jones, who eventually became the school’s first black graduate, died at Atlanta Medical Center, where she had been admitted Tuesday after suffering a stroke, said her sister, Sharon Malone.
At an appearance, before her death, she recalled meeting with Wallace in 1996, when the former governor was in frail health. He died in 1998.
“I asked him why did he do it,” she said. “He said he did what he felt needed to be done at that point in time, but he would not do that today. At that point, we spoke — I spoke — of forgiveness.”
A talented teen singer who won the hearts of millions on British TV show ‘Stars In their Eyes’ was found bludgeoned to death in her home yesterday. Police say Kesha Wizzart, 18, her mother Beverley Samuels, 35, and her brother Fred, 13, were beaten to death sometime Wednesday or early Thursday at their home in Manchester, England.
A neighbor made the grim discovery yesterday when he climbed a ladder and peered in a window of the home. The neighbor became suspicious after a family member was unable to get an answer at the front door.
Ron O’Neal (September 1, 1937 in Utica, New York – January 14, 2004 in Los Angeles, California) was an actor, director and screenwriter. O’Neal is most remembered for his starring role as Priest in the blaxploitation film “Superfly,” although he also had a small recurring role on the television show “Living Single,” as Synclaire’s father.
He died in 2004 of pancreatic cancer at the age of 66 on the same day “Superfly” was released on DVD in the US.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Zola Taylor (who Halle Berry portrayed in Why Do Fools Fall In Love) broke gender barriers as the first female member of the 1950s (original) R&B group The Platters and later became entangled in a public soap opera as one of three women claiming to be pop idol Frankie Lymon’s widow, has died, her nephew reported Tuesday. She was 69.
Taylor, who had been bedridden following several strokes, died Monday at Parkview Community Hospital in Riverside County from complications of pneumonia, said her nephew Alfie Robinson.
Founding Platters member Herb Reed said he spotted Taylor, the sister of Cornell Gunter of the Coasters, rehearsing with a girl group in 1955 and knew immediately she had the charisma and vocal chops the band needed.
“PLATTERS” LEAD SINGER SUCCUMBS TO AIDS:
The Platters-(not original Platters) frontman Curtis Bridgeforth (above) has quit the rock ‘n’ roll group to seek AIDS treatment. The 51-year-old singer released a statement two days ago, confirming he will leave the Platters at the end of the month. He said, “I found out in 1990 that I was HIV positive and I’ve been living with HIV for the last 17 years.
“Then two years ago, after suddenly losing 20 pounds and 30 percent of my eyesight, I learned that I had diabetes, in all probability stemming from my HIV medication. “Right now, my sugar count and cholesterol count are dangerously high, so to prevent a major heart attack or stroke, as well as deal with the HIV issue, I need to seek treatment in New York.
There is a program offered there for people like me who don’t have health insurance. “Ninety-nine per cent of the people I work with every night knew nothing of my HIV until now, although our management company has been aware since 2003.
I don’t want to hide it anymore – I’m an example of how to survive it and maybe I can help other people in the same situation. “After I get my health in check, I want to come back to performing. I’ve already been offered some opportunities.
The most important thing I do on this planet is sing to people – I can make people smile and that’s a God-given gift.” Bridgeforth joined the group in 1994 and has recently been performing with them at the Sahara in Las Vegas.
Sadly, Bridgeforth succumbed to AIDS in May of 2007.
He was known by family members and friends as “Boom-Boom,” because of his “bass” voice. McGilberry is pictured above on the far right.
A wonder tribute page to Boom-Boom. Its really beautiful and I love all the photos…Thank you. http://mauricewatts.com/harrygbook/view.php
“NBA STAR KILLED”
Aug. 21 (Bloomberg) — Eddie Griffin who played five seasons in the NBA, died last week when the sports-utility vehicle he was driving collided with a moving train in Houston, authorities said. He was 25.
Dental comparisons were used today to identify Griffin, whose body was badly burned in the crash. Police Department. Griffin’s vehicle was consumed by flames, and he died at the scene.
The 6-foot-10 Griffin spent last season with the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves, playing in 13 games as a reserve and averaging 1.4 points and 1.9 rebounds. Griffin, who spent his first two NBA seasons with the Houston Rockets and New Jersey Nets, was released by the Timberwolves in March.
Melanie Janene Thornton (May 13, 1967 – November 24, 2001) was an American-German pop singer who found fame in Germany and fronted the Eurodance group La Bouche, who formed hits such as “Be My Lover” and “Sweet Dreams” in the mid-1990s. She forged a moderately successful solo career in Germany before her death. Her hits include “Love How You Love Me”, “Wonderful Dream.” “Memories” and “Heartbeat.” Thornton died in a plane crash near Bassersdorf, Switzerland in 2001.
MCFADDEN & WHITEHEAD (DUO DIED WITHIN TWO YEARS OF EACH OTHER)
McFadden and Whitehead were an songwriting, production, and recording duo, best known for their signature tune “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now.” They wrote and produced some of the most popular R&B hits of the 1970s, and were primarily associated with Gamble and Huff’s Philadelphia International soul music record label.
When they were teenagers, Gene McFadden and John Whitehead formed a group called The Epsilons. They were discovered by Otis Redding and toured with him during the late 1960s until Redding’s death in a plane crash in 1967.
The duo later joined Philly International Records, where they wrote hit after hit, the first being “Back Stabbers” in 1972 for the O’Jays. It became No. 1 across the board in one week.
McFadden and Whitehead also penned hits such as “For The Love Of Money,” I’ll Always Love My Momma,” “Bad Luck,” “Wake Up Everybody,” “Where Are All My Friends,” “The More I Want”, and “Cold, Cold World”. The production team also worked with Melba Moore, Freddie Jackson and Gloria Gaynor, Teddy Pendergrass, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, Gladys Knight, The Jackson 5, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Lou Rawls, Archie Bell & the Drells and The Intruders, just to name a few.
On May 11, 2004, Whitehead was murdered while working on his car with his nephew on the street outside of his Philadelphia home. He was shot by two unknown gunmen who fled afterwards. The case remains unsolved. Whitehead was 55 years old.
On January 27, 2006, McFadden died of liver and lung cancer. He was 56.
On March 12, 2003, actress Lynn Thigpen was found dead at her home in Marina del Rey, California, by a friend; she had died of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 54. She had been complaining of headaches for several days. She had not been seriously ill, and her death was a surprise and shock. Drugs and foul play were ruled out by the coroner’s autopsy, which found “acute cardiac dysfunction, non-traumatic systemic and spontaneous intraventricular hemorrhage and hemorrhage in the brain”.
When Thigpen died, The District had a funeral for her character as well. (The show was canceled a short time later, but can be seen in reruns on the USA and A&E networks.) Her untimely death also led to the three-year hiatus of “Bear in the Big Blue House.”
The film “Anger Management” (2003) starring Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson is dedicated to her memory. An elementary school in her hometown is named in her memory.
Born in Columbus, Ohio, Biggs attended the University of Southern California on scholarship, studying theatre. He briefly taught at a Los Angeles high school before landing his first major television role, that of Dr. Marcus Hunter on the soap opera Days of our Lives.
Richard Biggs also played detective Bill Moody on Lifetime’s critically-acclaimed hit “Any Day Now,” a series that Howard Rosenberg of the Los Angeles Times calls “the season’s best new hour of weekly drama, and one of the most absorbing in all of television.” Richard Biggs died at 44.
Michelle Thomas 29, 1969-1998. She played Myra on “Family Matters.” Myra was a bubbly but nice character, who could, under jealous circumstances, get a little feisty. She was in the role of Myra from ’93 to ’98. In real life, Thomas died unexpectedly in 1998. Just a year earlier the actress was diagnosed with a rare form of stomach cancer, and she went on to undergo surgery twice for tumors. In the end, Thomas died in December of 1998 surrounded by friends and family in the hospital. She was only 29.
Thomas’ father is one of the original members of Kool & The Gang and she once dated actor Malcolm Jamal Warner.
Carlton Williams II who played Clinton in the movie “Crooklyn,” died in October of 2003. The actor passed away after battling with complications from Sickle Cell Anemia. He was about 24 years of age around the time of his passing.
Nell Carter (September 13, 1948 – January 23, 2003) was an American singer, and film, stage, and television actress. She won a Tony Award for her performance in the Broadway musical Ain’t Misbehavin’, as well as an Emmy Award for her reprisal of the role on television. She also received Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for her starring role in the long-running 1980s’ sitcom Gimme a Break!. Carter was 54.
If you were listening to rap in the early ’90s, there’s no doubt you heard the provocative Professor X (in the center wearing Brown)and his New York-based group X-Clan. “Professor X” Carson, whose best-known records are “Funkin’ Lesson” and “Fire & Earth (100% Natural),” died in a New York hospital after succumbing to spinal meningitis at the age of 49. Although X-Clan released just two albums and never enjoyed the commercial success of their politically minded contemporaries (particularly Public Enemy), X and his crew still carved out a slice of hip-hop history for themselves with their funky beats and rhymes about afrocentrism and activism.
Eugene Record (December 23, 1940 – July 22, 2005) was lead vocalist of Chicago based The Chi-Lites during the 1960s and 1970s. He also released three solo albums (entitled Eugene Record, Trying to Get to You, and Welcome to My Fantasy) via the Warner Music Group before rejoining the Chi-Lites in 1980. He wrote and produced many of the group’s hits, such as “Have You Seen Her” and “Oh Girl”, frequently in collaboration with other songwriters. He also wrote and produced for other artists, including Barbara Acklin, Jackie Wilson, and The Dells. Record left the Chi-Lites again in 1988 before eventually becoming a gospel singer. He died on July 22, 2005, after a long battle with cancer. He was 64.
Tyrone Davis made numerous records for the Dakar and Columbia record labels from the 1970s, right through the disco and funk booms, and into the 21st century. Davis’ best-known hits were “Turn Back the Hands of Time,” “Can I Change My Mind,” and “In The Mood.” He died in a Chicago hospital in 2005 of complications following a stroke in October 2004, from which he never fully recovered.
Natasja Saad (October 31, 1974 – June 24, 2007), also known as Lil T, Little T and Natasja, she was a Danish rapper and reggae singer whose vocals on a popular U.S. and European remix of “Calabria” gained her fame and a number one spot on Billboard’s Hot Dance Airplay chart six months after her death in a car accident. Natasha in a final performance.
Natasja died on June 24, 2007 in a car accident in Spanish Town, Saint Catherine, Jamaica. Two other passengers were critically injured, but Saad’s friend, Danish singer Karen Mukupa, was relatively unhurt. She and the other injured were rushed to the Spanish Town Hospital where the singer was pronounced dead.
Reggae star Lucky Dube, 43, was shot and killed in an apparent carjacking attempt after dropping his son off in suburban Johannesburg. Lucky Philip Dube (August 3, 1964 – October 18, 2007) was a South African reggae musician. He was one of South Africa’s best selling artist and one of its most outspoken performers. He was shot and killed outside his home in Johannesburg October 18th 2007. His death is a tragic loss to the music life in all Africa.
La La Brown (on the right) pictured with Lyfe Jennings was recently murdered. She sang on Jenning’s S.E.X. She was found dead with her boyfriend in the basement of a recording studio. She leaves behind a young daughter. La La in her last video.
June Pointer died in 2006. She was 52. She died of cancer at UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, California, with her sisters Ruth and Anita at her bedside. Here with sisters singing their Hits, Jump. Fire, Automatic.
King Floyd died from a stroke and complications with diabetes in California. He was 61. He was best remembered for his single ‘Groove Me’, (awwwwwww suki, suki now!) which hit the number one spot on the R & B charts in 1971.
Lou Rawls died on January 6, 2006 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 72 and was suffering from lung cancer and later brain cancer. His All Time Favorite song my All, You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine.
Louis Allen “Lou” Rawls (December 1, 1933 – January 6, 2006) was an American recording artist, voice actor, songwriter, and record producer. He was known for his smooth vocal style: Frank Sinatra once said that Rawls had “the classiest singing and silkiest chops in the singing game”. Rawls released more than 60 albums, sold more than 40 million records,appeared as an actor in motion pictures and on television, and voiced-over many cartoons. He was also known for his frequently used expression, “Yeah, buddy!” Rawls was also a three-time Grammy-winner, all for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.
Edward Patten, far right, a member of Gladys Knight and The Pips, died early on Friday the 25th of February at St. Mary’s Mercy Hospital in Livonia, Michigan, in 2005. He was 65.
How can you choose just one:
I Heard it Through The Grapevine
If I Were Your Woman
Midnight Train to Georgia & Neither One of Us
On and On (From the movie Claudine)
Mr. Welfare Man (from the movie Claudine)
Save the overtime for me
In 2005, a Baton Rouge blues singer was killed and another woman was wounded after the singer’s ex-boyfriend opened fire in a crowded beauty salon before turning the gun on himself.
Police say James White walked into T’Nails and Hair Salon and shot singer Jackie Neal and critically wounded Angela Myers, who was running away from the shooting.
Baton Rouge Police Major Pat Tauzin says Neal, who was in her late 30s, died at the scene, and both Myers and White were rushed to a hospital with critical injuries.
Tauzin says White faces counts of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder. She termed the shooting a “domestic” incident.
Tauzin says White had gone into the salon to talk to Neal earlier in the evening. Family and friends of Neal said White is Neal’s ex-boyfriend and Neal had broken off the relationship about three months ago.
Neal was the daughter of internationally known Baton Rouge blues man Raful Neal and the sister of musician Kenny Neal. She released three CDs between 1995 and 2002 that veered between blues, funk and pop. Her song, Right Thang, Wrong Man.
Willie McKinley Hutchinson, known professionally as Willie Hutch (December 6, 1944 – September 19, 2005) was an singer, guitarist, songwriter, and record producer. Hutch, born in Los Angeles, California and raised in Dallas, Texas, is notable as both a performer and songwriter/producer for the Motown label during the 1970s. Before joining Motown, Hutch worked as a producer for acts such as The 5th Dimension. Besides writing hit songs such as The Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There.” Hutch also recorded several albums for Motown (and later for Whitfield Records, run by former Motown producer Norman Whitfield), and had top 20 R&B hits with singles such as “Brother’s Gonna Work It Out” from the “Mack,” soundtrack and “Slick” (both 1973). Following in the tradition of Curtis Mayfield, he recorded the soundtrack album for the blaxploitation films The Mack (1973) and Foxy Brown (1974) and he also contributed to the “Cleopatra Jones,” soundtrack. “Tell Me Why Has Our Love Turned Cold”.
Hutch died on September 19, 2005 of reasons yet to be disclosed. He was 60.
Having played a leading role in the Broadway production of Hair, Ronnie Dyson pursued his thespian ambitions in “Salvation,” a less infamous musical, from 1970. One of its songs, “(If You Let Me Make Love To You Then) Why Can’t I Touch You?”, was a US Top 10 hit, while the singer reached the R&B chart with several subsequent singles, including “I Don’t Wanna Cry” (1970) and “The More You Do It (The More I Like It Done To Me)” (1976). In 1971 “When You Get Right Down To It” reached the UK Top 40. Despite switching labels from Columbia Records to Cotillion, Dyson was unable to achieve another major success, and “All Over Your Face” (1983) was his last chart entry. He died of heart failure in 1990. (I Like Being) Close to You.
Edwin Starr (January 21, 1942 – April 2, 2003) was an soul music singer. Born Charles Edwin Hatcher in Nashville, Tennessee, Starr is most famous for his Norman Whitfield produced Motown singles of the 1970s, most notably the number one hit “War.” Edwin Starr died of a heart attack at the age of 61 in his home in Beeston near Nottingham. His brother Angelo Starr is now fronting “The Team,” the band that Edwin Starr toured with until his death.
Trevor Berbick briefly held the WBC heavyweight title in 1986, before losing it to Mike Tyson. He was also noted for being the last man to fight Muhammad Ali, winning their 10-round contest in Nassau, Bahamas on December 11, 1981. Berbick was arrested on a number of occasions throughout his life and was sentenced in Florida to 5 years in prison (he served only 15 months) for sexually assaulting his children’s babysitter in 1992. In 1997, he violated his parole and was ordered to be deported from the United States. One of the more memorable sports events in Berbick’s life was his well publicized feud with Holmes, whom he fought in 1981. Their feud culminated in a public brawl in 1991 which was caught on tape (see link below) in which Larry Holmes landed a flying drop kick on Berbick off the hood of a car while Berbick was being escorted by police. He retired in Florida to be with his wife and three children (he also had three children with his first wife in Montreal) and started to train boxers at Kenny Barrett’s Gym (Tamarac Florida). However, Berbick’s problems only escalated. He was again ordered deported from the U.S. on December 2, 2002.
On October 28, 2006, he was murdered at a church in Norwich, Jamaica by an assailant wielding a 2 inch thick steel pipe. He suffered multiple blows to the head which resulted in him dying at the scene of the attack. Police have arrested 2 men (one of the men arrested and charged is Berbick’s 20-year-old nephew in connection with the death, and were interrogating him at the Port Antonio police station in Portland as of early in the morning of October 29. Local residents have indicated that the suspect was involved in a land dispute with Berbick. On November 3 it was reported that Berbick’s nephew, 20-year-old Harold Berbick, and an unidentified 18-year-old man had been charged with his murder by Jamaican police. On December 20, 2007 Harold Berbick was found guilty of the murder of his uncle. His alleged accomplice, Kenton Gordon, was found guilty of manslaughter. Both will be sentenced on January 11, 2008.
OSCAR BROWN, JR.
Oscar Brown, Jr. (October 10, 1926 – May 29, 2005) was a singer, songwriter, playwright, poet, humanitarian and civil rights activist. He ran for office in the Illinois state legislature and U.S. Congress, both unsuccessfully. Brown recorded 11 albums. He also wrote/co-wrote 10 musicals which he also starred in. Lena Horne and Mahalia Jackson recorded compositions written by Brown. Brown married Jean Pace (sister of actress Judy Pace). Two of his seven children grew to become performers, with whom he regularly worked until his son, Oscar “Bobo” Brown III, an accomplished bassist, vocalist, and composer, died in a tragic automobile accident on August 12, 1996, at the age of 39. Oscar Brown, Jr., died in 2005 at the age of 79, cause of death unknown. He is survived by his wife Jean, their one son and four daughters.
Junior Walker (born Autry DeWalt Mixon, Jr., June 14, 1931 – November 23, 1995) & the All Stars were signed to the Motown label in the 1960s, and became one of the label’s signature acts. Their first and signature hit was “Shotgun”, written by Junior Walker and produced by Berry Gordy. “Shotgun” reached #4 on the Pop chart and #1 on the R&B chart in 1965, and was followed by many other hits, such as “(I’m A) Road Runner”, “Shake and Fingerpop” and covers of the Motown classics “Come See About Me” and “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You).” In 1969 the group had another hit entering the top 5. “What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)” reached #4 on the Pop chart and #1 on the R&B chart. From that time on Walker sang more on the records than earlier in their career. In 1983, Walker was re-signed with Motown. He died on November 23, 1995 in Battle Creek, Michigan of cancer. Drummer James Graves died in 1967 in a car accident, and guitarist Willie Woods in 1997 at age 60.
The five-member band of high school friends formed in 1954 in Ferndale, Mich., a Detroit suburb. They went on to be nominated for six Grammy Awards and became the second black musical group to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Four of the original band members, including Henderson, continued to perform together until recently. He was dismissed from the group in 2004 after suing the group’s corporation and business manager to obtain financial records.
Henderson died Friday of complications from diabetes at a Daytona Beach health care facility, his wife, Barbara, said.
The 1972 song “I’ll Be Around” was part of a string of Top 20 Spinners hits that included “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love,” “Then Came You” and “The Rubberband Man.”
The five-member band of high school friends formed in 1954 in Ferndale, Mich., a Detroit suburb. They went on to be nominated for six Grammy Awards and became the second black musical group to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Four of the original band members, including Henderson, continued to perform together until recently. He was dismissed from the group in 2004 after suing the group’s corporation and business manager to obtain financial records.
Alice Coltrane, the jazz pianist and organist who was closely linked with the music of her late husband, legendary saxophonist John Coltrane, died Jan. 14. She was known for her contributions to jazz and early New Age music, including bringing the harp into jazz music and featuring astral compositions, as well as being the keeper of her husband’s archive and musical legacy. A convert to Hinduism, Coltrane was also a significant spiritual leader and founded the Vedantic Center, a spiritual commune in the Los Angeles area.
One of the few African-American television hosts of the period, Barbara McNair had her own syndicated variety series, “The Barbara McNair Show,” broadcast from 1969 to 1971. She made at least a half-dozen records, including several for the Motown label.
MUST SEE—> Ethel Waters and Barara NcNair Sings
If critics did not enshrine her in the top echelon of American popular singers, Ms. McNair, who continued performing until shortly before her death, nevertheless retained a devoted following. Reviewing one of her performances in The New York Times in 1982, John S. Wilson described Ms. McNair as “a gorgeous looking woman with a warm, easy, communicative personality and a voice that can range from softly intense ballads to the edges of gospel, to crisp and rhythmic comedy or to a saloon singer’s belt.” He added: “Her hour in the spotlight passes pleasantly and quickly. But when it is all over, one is not left with any sense of her identity.”
Barbara Joan McNair was born on March 4, 1934 (some sources give the year as 1939), and reared in Racine, Wis., where she sang in church as a child. By the time she was a teenager, she dreamed of singing in nightclubs and pored over biographies of Sarah Vaughan and Billy Eckstine in the hope of discovering how they had managed to do just that.
In the mid-1950s, after studying briefly at the Racine Conservatory and University of California, Los Angeles, Ms. McNair settled in New York, where she found work as a typist. Her break came when she sang at the Village Vanguard, which led to a role in the Broadway musical “The Body Beautiful,” which ran for two months in 1958. Her hits, You’re Gonna Love My Baby. and The Best is Yet To Come”.
Ms. McNair also had roles in several films, among them “If He Hollers, Let Him Go!” (1968), and “They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!” (1970), a sequel to “In the Heat of the Night,” the last two starring Sidney Poitier. She made many television appearances on “McMillan & Wife,” “The Mod Squad,” “General Hospital” and other shows.
Singer-actress Barbara McNair, 72, died on Feb. 4.
Percy Rodrigues, Percy Rodrigues, an actor who broke ground when he was cast as a neurosurgeon in the series “Peyton Place” in 1968, a time when blacks were just starting to win roles as authority figures on television, died on Sept. 6 at his home in Indio, Calif.. He was 89. In an interview 1964.
Rodrigues, also had a long career as a voice over actor. About the same time as his breakthrough on “Peyton Place,” Rodrigues, a Canadian of African and Portuguese descent, played a commodore in a Star Trek TV episode and an embittered doctor in the 1968 film, “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter.”
From the 1950s through the 1980s, he acted in more than 80 film and television productions, including the 1979 miniseries “Roots: The Next Generation.” His television credits included “Ben Casey,” “The Fugitive,” “Star Trek,” “Mission Impossible” and “Medical Center.” On “Peyton Place,” the 1960’s primetime serial, he was Dr. Harry Miles in the final season. Percy Rodrigues appearance on Ben Casey (1965) with Eartha Kitt.
Olympic medalist Willye White, 67, a two-time Olympic medalist in track and field and the first woman to compete for the United States in five Olympics, died Feb. 6. White competed in five consecutive Olympic Games between 1956 and 1972. She won a silver medal in the long jump at the 1956 Games in Melbourne, Australia, at age 16 and won her second silver medal in 1964 as a member of the 4×100-meter relay team in Tokyo. 2009 Olympic Hall of Fame.
Ronnie Wells, a popular jazz vocalist based in Washington, D.C. who came to prominence in the mid-1960s, making several television appearances and singing on stage with a number of luminaries, including Billy Eckstine, Lonnie Liston Smith and Oscar Brown, Jr., died March 7, she was 64. Ms Wells’ Washington Post Obituary March 9, 2007. She appeared semi-annually for five years, beginning in 1992, at Blackbeard’s Castle in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, and also performed on a number of occasions with the U.S. Airmen of Note, the U.S. Navy Commodores Orchestra and appeared at the Kennedy Center, Smithsonian Institution and other concert halls nightclubs and jazz festivals in the U.S. and abroad. She also had taught jazz vocal techniques in a program she created at the University of Maryland’s Department of Music. Ronnie Wells Vision, Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival, Bring Music To the Studes.
Actor Carl Wright, 75, began his career as a tap dancer and comedian and later appeared in movies including “Barbershop” and “Big Momma’s House.” His film credits also included “Soul Food,” “Barbershop 2: Back in Business” and “The Cookout.” He died May 19.
Yolanda Denise King, Yolanda King, the eldest child of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who melded her father’s message of racial equality and nonviolence with her own calling as an actor and a motivational speaker, died on Tuesday in Santa Monica, Calif. She was 51.
Ms. King was meeting her brother Dexter King at a friend’s home when she collapsed and died.
Yolanda Denise King, who was born on Nov. 17, 1955, in Montgomery, Ala., lived virtually her entire life in the maelstrom of the civil rights revolution that her father and mother, Coretta Scott King, helped lead. Dr. King was assassinated in 1968, and Mrs. King died last year.
Besides her brother Dexter Scott King, Yolanda King is survived by another brother, Martin Luther King III, and her sister, the Rev. Bernice King.
Yolanda King wrote and produced plays; gave speeches to groups that included elementary schoolchildren and Fortune 500 corporations; and acted in commercial movies. With Elodia Tate, she edited a motivational book emphasizing the importance of diversity. Ms. King’s consistent goal was to infect her work, including her films, with her family’s deeper purposes.
She portrayed Rosa Parks, who sparked the civil rights movement by refusing to give up her bus seat in a miniseries, “King” (1978), and Betty Shabazz, the wife of Malcolm X, in “Death of a Prophet” (1981).
In 1999, she acted in “Selma, Lord, Selma,” about the civil rights march, and in 1996 appeared in “Ghosts of Mississippi,” about efforts to track down the killer of Medgar Evers, the civil rights leader.
She founded a dramatic group with Atallah Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X, the slain civil rights leader, and started a theatrical production company, Higher Ground Productions, dedicated to what she called personal empowerment. She was also on the board of the King Center.
In a statement, Representative John Lewis, Democrat of Georgia and a veteran of the civil rights movement, said that being Dr. King’s daughter was to carry an extra burden.
In 1958, Dr. King narrowly escaped death when he was stabbed in a bookstore in Harlem. To Yolanda, it seemed as if adults naturally went to jail occasionally, because all those she knew seemed to do that.
Her deepest memories were the love of her father, who taught her to swim and playfully pummeled her but never spanked her. She called him “my first buddy,” saying, “I was tremendously loved.”
Ms. King was 12 on April 4, 1968, when she heard a news bulletin on television saying her father had been assassinated in Memphis. Four days later, she and her brothers accompanied their mother to appear at Memphis City Hall. Mrs. King said the children attended because they wanted to.
The next year, Ms. King’s uncle A. D. King, her father’s sole brother, accidentally drowned. In 1974, an apparent madman fired a gun in the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta and killed her grandmother Alberta Williams King.
Yolanda King learned about racial discrimination at 3 or 4 when she was barred from an amusement park. She was one of the first black children at a previously segregated elementary school in Atlanta, where she endured racial epithets. In high school, she was president of her sophomore and junior classes and vice president of her senior class.
She wrote her first play at 8, and her mother sent her to acting school the next year. Her decision in 1971 to play a prostitute in a school production of Bill Manhoff’s “Owl and the Pussycat,” which involved kissing a white man, scandalized the white and black communities. Her paternal grandfather, the Rev. Martin Luther King Sr., refused to attend, but her mother supported her.
In an interview with The Baltimore Sun in 1998, Ms. King said acting had liberated her, not least the parts unrelated to her family history.
“In life,” she said, “I had to be prim and proper and poised — the King daughter. But acting, I could be zany, silly, sometimes the foolish person that I am. I could let the rough edges show.” Yolanda King speak at National Memorial Project for Martin Luther King, Jr.
Max Roach, 83, a master percussionist, founder of Modern Jazz, whose rhythmic innovations and improvisations defined bebop jazz during a wide-ranging career where he collaborated with artists from Duke Ellington to rapper Fab Five Freddy, died Aug. 15. Max Roach, The Third Eye.
As a young man, Mr. Roach, a percussion virtuoso capable of playing at the most brutal tempos with subtlety as well as power, was among a small circle of adventurous musicians who brought about wholesale changes in jazz. He remained adventurous to the end. Max Roach Interview, Here We ARE.
Roach’s mother was a gospel singer, and that early immersion in the church had a lasting effect on his musical direction. He started playing the drums at age ten and undertook formal musical studies at the Manhattan School of Music. By the time he was 18, Roach was already immersed in proto-bop jam sessions at Minton’s Playhouse and Monroe’s Uptown House (where he was the house drummer) with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, listening to Kenny Clarke and absorbing his influence. He made his recorded debut in 1943 with the progressive-minded Coleman Hawkins on the Apollo label, and played with Benny Carter’s orchestra in California and Gillespie’s quintet, as well as briefly with Duke Ellington in 1944. By 1945, Roach was red-hot in jazz circles, and he joined Parker’s group that year for the first of a series of sporadic periods (1945, 1947-49, 1951-53).
Over the years he challenged both his audiences and himself by working not just with standard jazz instrumentation, and not just in traditional jazz venues, but in a wide variety of contexts, some of them well beyond the confines of jazz as that word is generally understood.
He led a “double quartet” consisting of his working group of trumpet, saxophone, bass and drums plus a string quartet. He led an ensemble consisting entirely of percussionists. He dueted with uncompromising avant-gardists like the pianist Cecil Taylor and the saxophonist Anthony Braxton. He performed unaccompanied. He wrote music for plays by Sam Shepard and dance pieces by Alvin Ailey. He collaborated with video artists, gospel choirs and hip-hop performers.
Mr. Roach explained his philosophy to The New York Times in 1990: “You can’t write the same book twice. Though I’ve been in historic musical situations, I can’t go back and do that again. And though I run into artistic crises, they keep my life interesting.” Max Roach, performing Hi Hat!
Frank Morgan, 73, a jazz saxophonist whom critics likened to Charlie Parker, but whose fame was diminished by a three-decade struggle with drug addiction, died Dec. 14. He debuted as a solo artist in 1955 with a hard bop collection before slipping into addiction. He played off and on, but after a prison conversion to Islam, Morgan produced his second album in 1985 and in 1986 played a series of acclaimed performances at the Village Vanguard in New York, maintaining a rigorous schedule of performances even after he suffered a stroke in 1998. He was the lead instrumentalist on more than a dozen albums, playing with noted musicians including Wynton Marsalis, McCoy Tyner, Kenny Burrell and singer Abbey Lincoln.
Donda West, 58, mother of rapper Kanye West, was the former chairwoman of Chicago State University’s English department and was the inspiration for the song, “Hey Mama,” on Kanye West’s 2005 album, “Late Registration.” In May, she published the book, “Raising Kanye: Life Lessons from the Mother of a Hip-Hop Star,” in which she paid homage to her famous son. She died Nov. 10.
Louil Silas, founder and President of Silas Records, died of kidney failure. His death received little fanfare in 2001. He was 44. Louil was responsible for the careers of New Edition, Jody Watley & Chanté Moore. Silas worked in promotions prior to launching Silas Records formation, Silas was very instrumental to the success of SOLAR (Sound Of Los Angeles Records) and their artists, including The Whispers, Shalamar, Dynasty, etc.
On November 10, 2006, Gerald Levert was found dead in his bed at his Newbury home when a cousin tried to wake him. Initial reports stated that Levert had died of an apparent heart attack. In February of 2007, an autopsy report conducted by the Cuyahoga County coroner’s office concluded that Levert’s death was caused by a fatal combination of prescription narcotics and over-the-counter drugs. The drugs in his bloodstream included the narcotic pain relievers Vicodin, Percocet, and Darvocet, along with anxiety medication Xanax and two over-the-counter antihistamines. The autopsy also revealed that Levert had pneumonia. The official cause of death was acute intoxication, and the death was ruled accidental. Gerald Levert was 40 years old.
Sean Levert, a third of the 1980s R&B trio LeVert and son of lead O’Jays singer Eddie Levert, has died after falling ill while serving a jail term. He was 39. Authorities said Monday an autopsy was inconclusive but foul play was ruled out. Levert was sentenced last week to 22 months behind bars for failing to pay $89,025 in child support. He died at Lutheran Hospital in Cleveland late Sunday, less than an hour after he was taken there from the jail, said coroner Frank Miller.
Henrietta Bell Wells–the lone female debater (above, 3rd from the left) on the historic Wiley College debate team in the 1930s, depicted in the recent movie The Great Debaters–died on March 12, 2008, at age 96. She was portrayed in the film by actress Jurnee Smollett (2nd photo, and pictured together).
Three days after his 32nd birthday on February 10, 2006, J Dilla (born James Yancey) died of complications related to lupus, an inflammatory disease that can affect a person’s blood, skin, joints and kidneys.
The Detroit-born producer, also known as Jay Dee, was highly regarded for creating bottom-heavy, soulful tracks for several R&B and hip-hop luminaries including Common, Erykah Badu and A Tribe Called Quest, among others.
Billy Preston died on June 6, 2006 in Scottsdale, Arizona, of complications of malignant hypertension that resulted in kidney failure and other complications. He had been in a coma since November 21, 2005. His funeral was held on June 20 at the Faithful Central Bible Church in Inglewood, California. Preston is interred at Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood, California.
“Show & Tell” singer dies
R&B singer Al Wilson, best known for his hit single, “Show & Tell”, died on 4/22/08 at Kaiser Permanente in Fontana, according to a family spokesperson.Born June 19, 1939 in Meridian, Miss., Wilson moved to the San Bernardino area in 1958 where he worked odd jobs as a mail carrier, a janitor, and an office clerk before touring for four years with Johnny Harris and the Statesmen. After a two-year stint in the Navy, Wilson moved to Los Angeles and toured local clubs performing with groups The Jewels and The Souls before he was signed with manager Marc Gordon in 1966. He released his first single, “The Snake”, in 1968.Wilson was a San Bernardino resident at the time of his death.
Orish Grinstead (above) founding member of R&B girl group 702 out of Las Vegas, Nevada, passed away on Sunday, April 20th from kidney failure. She was 27 years old. Orish, who created the group along with her twin sister, Irish and big sister Lameisha, was what friends called ‘a good person, sweet, sincere, humble and full of life.’ According to friends Orish had been ill for a long time, and sadly, due to other medical complications she suffered from including cancer that had yet to be treated, she was not expected to live too long.
Bernie Mac suffered from sarcoidosis, an inflammatory lung disease that produces tiny lumps of cells in the body’s organs, but had said the condition went into remission in 2005.
On July 24, 2008, Mac was hospitalized with an infection, that was later identified as pneumonia. The news of his hospitalization would not be announced for over a week, when his publicist claimed that Mac had pneumonia. The next day, responding to rumors that the actor was in “very, very critical condition,” his publicist said that he was responding well to treatment, and should be released soon. On August 9, his publicist announced that Mac had died from complications of pneumonia unrelated to sarcoidosis.
The 2008 Bud Billiken Parade in Chicago, on the day he died, was dedicated to his memory.
Mac’s funeral was held on August 16 at the House of Hope megachurch. More than 6,000 people attended his funeral. Mac was 50 at the time of his passing. He now has a street named after him in the Englewood community in Chicago. Clip from the Bernie Mac Show, Hot, Hot, Hot!
Isaac Lee Hayes, Jr. (August 20, 1942 – August 10, 2008) was an American soul and funk singer-songwriter, musician, record producer, arranger, composer, and actor. Hayes was one of the main creative forces behind southern soul music label Stax Records, where he served as both an in-house songwriter and producer with partner David Porter during the mid-1960s. In the late 1960s, Hayes became a recording artist, and recorded successful soul albums such as Hot Buttered Soul (1969) and Black Moses (1971) as the Stax label’s premier artist.
Alongside his work in popular music, Hayes was a film score composer for motion pictures. His best known work, for the 1971 blaxploitation film Shaft, (Theme from Shaft), earned Hayes an Academy Award for Best Original Song (the first Academy Award received by an African-American in a non-acting category) and two Grammy Awards. He received a third Grammy for the album Black Moses.
Hayes was found unconscious in his home located just east of Memphis, Tennessee on August 10, 2008 as reported by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department. A Shelby County Sheriff’s deputy responded to Hayes’s home after his wife found him on the floor near a still-running treadmill. Hayes was taken to Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, where he was pronounced dead at 2:08pm at the age of 65. The cause of death was not immediately known, though authorities subsequently listed stroke as the cause of death. At the time of his death, he was preparing his first new studio album since 1995. Issac Hayes was the voice of Chief on the popular show South Park.
Motown lost a musical sensation.
Pervis Jackson, (far left, above) a member of “The Spinners,” died from cancer at Sinai Grace hospital this morning.
The group took off in the 70’s with one of its bigger hits – Games People Play.
Pervis Jackson was 70-years-old.
Ray Vitte who starred in films, “Car Wash,” “Thank God It’s Friday,” and “Grambling White Tiger,” was shot and killed by a policeman during a scuffle at a party on 2/20/83 in Los Angeles.
Julius J. Carry III (March 12, 1952 – August 19, 2008), was an actor. Carry is best known for his role in the film “The Last Dragon,” where he portrayed Sho’Nuff. He also appeared primarily in numerous television roles, including Dr. Abraham Butterfield on Doctor, Doctor and the bounty hunter Lord Bowler in the The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. He has also appeared on shows such as “Family Matters,” “A Different World,” ” Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place,” and “Boy Meets World.” Who is the Master! Who is the Master!! Who is the Master!!!….. “I AM”.
He died on August 19, 2008 of pancreatic cancer.
Kevin Jerome Duckworth (April 1, 1964 – August 25, 2008) was a professional basketball player at center in the National Basketball Association, most notably as a member of the Portland Trail Blazers. Duckworth died of a heart attack on Monday, August 25, 2008 in Gleneden Beach, Oregon, near the coastal town of Lincoln City. He collapsed in his hotel room, and emergency services were unable to revive him. His death was confirmed by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office. Duckworth was in town as part of a Trail Blazers group hosting a free kids basketball clinic. An autopsy identified the cause of death as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy with congestive heart failure. He was 44.
Arthur L. ‘Art’ Porter, Jr., (3 August 1961 – 23 November 1996), was a jazz saxophonist. He was also the son of legendary jazz musician Art Porter, Sr., as well as the namesake of “The Art Porter Bill.”
In 1996 Porter traveled to Thailand to appear at the Thailand International Jazz Festival. After the festival on 23 November he went boating on the Kratha Taek reservoir in Sai Yok, Thailand. Tragically, the boat Porter was traveling on overturned, and Porter, along with several others, drowned. Porter was survived by his wife and two elementary age sons.
After moving to Los Angeles in 1975, Nathan Cook was known for roles on two television series. He played Milton Reese, one of the high school basketball players, on “The White Shadow,” (1978-1980). He also played security head Billy Griffin on “Hotel,” (1983-1988). Between these two he had a shorter role (1981-1982) as Detective Virgil Brooks in “Hill Street Blues.”
He was also involved for a time with the actress Alfre Woodard before marrying and having two children in 1984 and 1986.
He also made frequent appearances as a celebrity guest on the game shows “Body Language,” “Super Password,” and “The $100,000 Pyramid.”
Cook, an accomplished jazz flute player, died in 1988 from a severe allergic reaction to penicillin.
His favorite saying was: “It’s okay to fool the people, as long as you don’t fool yourself.”
Distinguished African-American actress Gloria Foster studied at the Goodman Theatre, making her earliest professional appearances with the University of Chicago County Theater. Foster’s first Broadway role was Ruth in Lorraine Hansbury’s Raisin in the Sun. In 1963, she appeared in the powerful dramatic review In White America, earning an Obie Award as well as a two-page spread in Life Magazine. The following year, she was honored with a Theatre World award for her portrayal of Medea, one of dozens of classic stage roles to her credit. She made her film bow in 1963’s The Cool World, followed by a sizeable role opposite Ivan Dixon in the critically acclaimed Nothing But a Man. She later co-starred with Bill Cosby (To All My Friends on Shore, Leonard Part 6) and Sidney Poitier (Separate but Equal). Gloria Foster’s many television credits include two guest appearances on The Mod Squad, co-starring with her then-husband, actor/director Clarence Williams III. Though her film roles remained relatively scarce throughout the 1990s, Foster’s role as The Oracle in the 1999 metaphysical sci-fi smash The Matrix proved a welcome sight to fans who hadn’t seen her since her 1993 television effort Percy and Thunder. Returning to the role for 2003’s The Matrix Reloaded, Foster sadly died of diabetes before completing all of her scenes for the film (and having not even begun shooting her scenes for the same year’s The Matrix Revolutions). She was 64
Levi Stubbles (June 6, 1936 – October 17, 2008), better known by the stage name Levi Stubbs, was an baritone singer, best known as the lead vocalist of the Four Tops.
Stubbs began his professional singing career with friends Abdul “Duke” Fakir, Renaldo “Obie” Benson and Lawrence Payton to form the Four Aims in 1954. Two years later, the group changed their name to the Four Tops. The group began as a supper-club act before finally signing to Motown Records in 1963; by the end of the decade, the Four Tops had over a dozen hits to their name. The most popular of the Four Tops hits, all of which featured Stubbs on lead vocals, include “Baby I Need Your Loving”, “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)”, “It’s the Same Old Song”, “Reach Out I’ll Be There”, “Standing in the Shadows of Love”, “Bernadette”, “Still Water (Love)”, and “Ain’t No Woman (Like the One I’ve Got)”.
Although Stubbs was a natural baritone, most of the Four Tops’ hits were written in a tenor range to give the lead vocals a sense of urgency. Stubbs and the other Tops remained a team until Payton died in 1997, at which point Theo Peoples took his place. The Four Tops were elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. Benson also died on July 1, 2005. Levi Stubbs passed away after a long illness on October 17, 2008.
As an actor, credited as Levi Stubbs, Jr., he provided the voice of the carnivorous plant “Audrey II” in the movie version of the musical Little Shop of Horrors (1986) and the voice of Mother Brain in the animated TV series Captain N: The Game Master (1989). Stubbs has also guest starred in a number of TV shows as himself.
Stubbs and his wife Clineice were married from 1960 until his death, and had five children. In 1995, Stubbs was diagnosed with cancer, and later, a stroke, and stopped touring. Since 2000, Theo Peoples has taken Stubbs’ place as the lead singer of the Four Tops, with Ronnie McNeir taking the place that Payton originally held. Levi Stubbs died in his sleep on October 17, 2008 at his home in Detroit from his ailments. He was 72.
Stubbs was a cousin of soul singer Jackie Wilson. He also had a brother, Joe, who was a member of both The Contours and The Originals, who died February 5, 1998.
Bob Jones, the longtime publicist for Michael Jackson who said he dubbed the singer “the king of pop” and who co-wrote “The Man Behind the Mask,” an unauthorized biography critical of the star, has died. He was 72.
Jones, who had quadruple-bypass surgery about 17 years ago, died Sept. 20 at his Los Angeles home, apparently of a heart attack, said his sister, Donna Jones.
From 1987 to 2004, Jones helped guide Jackson through “the hailstorms and minefields of unprecedented celebrity,” Jones and journalist Stacy Brown wrote in their 2005 book.
When Jackson hired him, Jones had spent 17 years as a Motown Records publicist, helping to craft the images of such singers as Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and Lionel Richie.
Dee Dee Warwick (September 25, 1945 – October 18, 2008 was an African-American soul singer. She was born in Newark, New Jersey as Delia Mae Warrick. Following the lead of her elder sister, Dionne Warwick, she changed her surname from Warrick to Warwick in the early 1960s.
She is best-known for her hits during the 1960s, including the #13 R&B hit “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me”, co-written by Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff. This song was later covered by Diana Ross & the Supremes & The Temptations. She is also a two time Grammy nominee for “Foolish Fool” and “She Didn’t Know.”
She had been in failing health for several months. Dionne Warwick was with her when she died on October 18, 2008 in a nursing home in Essex County, New Jersey.
Rudy Ray Moore (March 17, 1927 – October 19, 2008) was an American comedian, musician, singer, film actor, and film producer. He was perhaps best known as Dolemite, the uniquely articulate pimp from the 1975 film Dolemite, and its sequel, The Human Tornado. The persona was developed during his earlier stand-up comedy records. On October 19, 2008, Moore died of complications from diabetes.
Former Motown Records president and chief executive Jheryl Busby,who helped launch the careers of Boyz II Men and Queen Latifah, has died.
Busby was found on Tuesday in a hot tub at his home in Malibu, California, the Los Angeles County Assistant Coroner Chief Ed Winter has confirmed. The 59-year-old’s official cause of death has yet to be determined, but it is believed that no foul play was involved.
Busby began his career in music at the famed Stax Records in Memphis, Tennessee, and later went on to become the president of the black music division of MCA Records in 1984.
In 1988, he was named the president and chief executive officer of Motown Records, where he oversaw acts like Boyz II Men, Queen Latifah and Johnny Gill.
And soul legend Smokey Robinson maintains Busby’s death is a great loss for the music industry.
In a statement, Robinson says: “I had tremendous respect for the way he continued the Motown legacy… My condolences to his family at this difficult time.”
(JAY-Z’S DEF JAM SUCCESSOR COMMITS SUICIDE)
Def Jam executive VP Shakir Stewart (1st photo) reportedly committed suicide today (Nov. 1) in Atlanta, according to sources. No other details were available at deadline.
“L.A. Reid and all of us at Island Def Jam Music Group are deeply saddened by the passing of our dear friend and colleague Shakir Stewart,” read a statement sent from the label today. “Shakir was an amazing man in every sense of the word. A truly incredible friend and father who was an inspiration to not only our artists and employees, but to his family and the many people that had the privilege of counting him as a friend. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family at this very difficult time.”
Stewart succeeded Jay-Z at the top of the Def Jam ladder in June and also retained his duties as senior VP of A&R at Island Def Jam. The Oakland, Calif., native signed such artists as Rick Ross, Young Jeezy and newcomer Karina Pasian.
Stewart cut his teeth as a music executive at Hitco Music Publishing, where he was creative director and later senior VP of creative/GM and signed Beyonce Knowles.
Even before he gained a rep for promoting rap concerts during his Morehouse College days, Stewart was “the guy who was the head of passing out fliers at seven clubs a night, seven days a week in 20-degree weather,” he told Billboard this summer.
Stewart said at the time it was his goal to help develop “new, young executives … The hot executive who’s 21, 22 years old and has a serious passion for music and the desire to work 27 hours a day. That’s where I was at that time in my life. And that’s who I’m looking to mentor. I don’t see many people like that. Instead, I see a lot of kids who want to live the lifestyle but don’t want to put in the work and do what it takes.”
Richards was nominated for an Tony award for her 1965 performance in James Baldwin’s The Amen Corner. She received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Sidney Poitier’s mother in the 1967 film Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. Other notable movie performances include Hurry Sundown, The Great White Hope, Beloved, and In the Heat of the Night.
She made numerous guest television appearances including recurrent roles on The Bill Cosby Show, Designing Women, and ER (as Dr. Peter Benton’s mother.) She was the winner of two Emmy Awards.
In the last year of her life, Richards was the subject of a documentary created by actress Lisa Gay Hamilton. The documentary Beah: A Black Woman Speaks was created from over 70 hours of their conversations. The film won the Grand Jury Prize at the AFI Film Festival.
Beah Richards died from emphysema in her hometown of Vicksburg, Mississippi at the age of 80.
“FAMILY MATTERS ACTRESS DIES”
Rosetta LeNoire was an American stage, screen and television actress, as well as a Broadway producer and casting agent. Rosetta LeNoir, whom many of us now as Mother Winslow from the long-lived sitcom “Family Matters,” died in New Jersey after a what has only been described as a long illness. She was 90.
Introduction: Orson Wells called her the most exciting woman in the world. She was pursued by billionaires, celebrities and diplomats. She was the epitome of class and sophistication. There will never be another Eartha Kitt.
“EARTHA KITT DEAD AT THE AGE OF 81”
Eartha Mae Kitt was born on a cotton plantation in the tiny town of North, South Carolina. Though her ancestry is somewhat uncertain, she stated her mother was of African-American and Native American descent, and her father, German and Dutch descent. She claimed she was conceived by rape.
Kitt was raised by Anna Mae Riley, a black woman whom she believed to be her mother, but after Riley’s death, she was sent to live in New York City with Mamie Kitt, reportedly Riley’s sister. Eartha Kitt believes that Mamie Kitt was her biological mother.
Kitt suffered terrible abuse and neglect at the hands of a family to whom Anna Mae Riley entrusted her, or “given away for slavery” as Kitt described in many interviews.
These same family members tried to approach Kitt when (she had achieved success). She was leaving the theater after a performance. They screamed out, “Eartha Mae,” she knew it was them before she even turned around because only family members called her Eartha Mae.
She said, childhood abuse memories came back and she stiffened without even turning around, she casually stepped in her limo and instructed her driver to drive off.
For years, Kitt was unsure of her birthplace or birth date. In 1997, a group of students at historically black Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina, located her birth certificate, which verified her birth date as Jan. 17, 1927. Kitt had previously celebrated on Jan. 26.
MORE ON EARTHA KITT:
Eartha Kitt says, “I often think of my mother. Though I do not remember what she looked like, I feel her presence with me all the time. I still feel her warmth, her beauty, as she played with Pearl, my half-sister.”
“We were so poor, most of the time we lived in the forest, or at least slept there covered with pine straw. I remember, a long, long period, we had been traveling a lot. I don’t know where we had come from or where we were going, but I walked barefoot on the longest road I had ever seen.”
“One day, we looked for shelter, during this time, other Blacks looked out for one another and helped as best they could.”
“Momma turned on a pathway leading to a house. She knocked on the door a few times and it opened. I don’t know what the face behind the voice looked like as I was busy hiding against Momma’s back, not wanting to be seen. Momma asked for shelter and food, pleading softly with the woman. I could hear her saying, ‘Just for tonight…my children are hungry and tired.”
“As I glanced up to take a quick peek at the voice’s owner, she was looking around to see what was hiding: ‘No, I don’t want that yella gal in my house.”
“I wondered, why was I called a yella gal? But this wasn’t the first time I heard the term and this wasn’t the first time we were rejected from shelter because of my complexion.”
“The next scene I remember is Momma talking to a black man, when he took one look at me, he also rejected us.”
“Some time later we came to a tiny cottage. Momma knocked on the door. When the door opened I stiffened with fear, afraid of rejection. To my surprise, the older lady invited us in and invited us to stay with her.”
A short time later, I realized she was blind and couldn’t see my complexion to reject us.
“A few months later, I overheard a conversation between Momma and a man, she was pleading with him to take us in as a family, he shouted, “I don’t want that yella gal in my house.”
“Later that day, Momma left Pearl and I in the house and met the same man outside. Momma and the man walked away arm in arm and I stood at the window looking out at them. Momma seemed so happy.”
“This was the last time I ever saw my mother.”
Source: “Confessions Of A Sex Kitten,” by Eartha Kitt
Miriam Makeba (4 March 1932 – 10 November 2008) was a South African singer and civil rights activist. The Grammy Award winning afrobeat artist is often referred to as Mama Afrika.
In 1959, she performed in the musical King Kong alongside Hugh Masekela, her future husband. Though she was a successful recording artist, she was only receiving a few dollars for each recording session and no provisional royalties, and was keen to go to the US. Her break came when she starred in the anti-apartheid documentary Come Back, Africa in 1959 by independent filmmaker Lionel Rogosin. She attended the premiere of the film at the Venice Film Festival.
Makeba traveled to London where she met Harry Belafonte, who assisted her in gaining entry to and fame in the United States. She released many of her most famous hits there including “Pata Pata”, “The Click Song” (“Qongqothwane” in Xhosa), and “Malaika”. In 1966, Makeba received the Grammy Award for Best Folk Recording together with Harry Belafonte for An Evening With Belafonte/Makeba. The album dealt with the political plight of black South Africans under apartheid.
On November 09. 2008, Miriam Makeba was performing in concert, and suffered a heart attack after singing her hit “Pata Pata,” and was taken to the “Pineta Grande” hospital. Doctors were unable to revive her.
Mae Mercer, a deep-voiced blues singer who spent much of the 1960s performing at a blues bar in Paris and touring Europe before launching an acting career back home in films and television, has died. She was 76. Here singing (the Real low-down Blues), Careless Love.
Mercer was found dead Oct. 29 at her home in Northridge, said Reginald D. Brown, a friend. He said the cause of death had not been determined, but Mercer had suffered two mini-strokes last year and had been in ill health.
Midwest rapper MC Breed, born Eric Breed, was found dead today (Nov. 22) after suffering kidney failure. He was 36.
Breed’s manager Darryl Morris confirmed that the rapper was found dead at a friend’s home in Ypsilanti, Michigan, the Detroit News is reporting.
In September, Breed collapsed on a basketball court. He was taken to the hospital and put on life support due to kidney failure. He was taken off life support days later, according to SOHH.com.
Helping the Mid-West rise to popularity within hip-hop, the Michigan-bred emcee is known for gaining notice as an independent artist with a number of early 1990’s albums, including MC Breed & DFC, 20 Below, The New Breed and Funkafied. Breed’s career spans 20-years and 13 albums.
Breed also famously collaborated with various West Coast rap stars including Too Short, Warren G and the late Tupac Shakur.
NEW YORK – Odetta’s monumental voice rang out in August 1963 when she sang “I’m on My Way” at the historic March on Washington, where Martin Luther King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech.
She had hoped to perform again in Washington when Barack Obama is inaugurated as the United States’ first black president. But the acclaimed folk singer, who influenced generations of musicians and was an icon in the civil rights struggle, died Tuesday after battling heart disease. She was 77.
In spite of failing health, Odetta performed 60 concerts in the last two years and her singing ability never diminished, manager Doug Yeager said.
“BLACULA ACTOR DIED”
William Horace Marshall (19 August 1924 – 11 June 2003) was an actor, director, and opera singer. He is best known for his title role in the 1972 blaxploitation classic Blacula and its sequel Scream Blacula Scream (1973), and as the “King of Cartoons” on the 1980’s television show Pee-wee’s Playhouse beginning with its second season. He had a commanding height of 6 ft 5 in, as well as a deep bass voice.
Marshall was the unmarried partner for 42 years of Sylvia Gussin Jarrico, former wife of blacklisted screenwriter Paul Jarrico. Marshall died June 11, 2003, from complications arising from Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes. He is survived by four children: sons Tariq, Malcolm, and Claude Marshall, and daughter, singer Gina Loring. The eulogies at his funeral were spoken by Sidney Poitier, Ivan Dixon, Paul Winfield, and Marla Gibbs.