Black Music Month: Remembering the lives and legacies of our Black Musicians gone in 2016
Billy Paul – Dec. 1, 1934 – April 24, 2016–Legendary soul singer Billy Paul has died at the age of 81. According to his website, the musician passed away at his home in Blackwood, New Jersey after a serious medical condition.
Prince Roger Nelson – June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016 — Legendary, iconic performer, Prince Rogers Nelson died at his Paisley Park residence at the age of 57. There were no further details as to the cause of death at this time.
Leon Haywood – Feb. 11, 1942 – April 5, 2016 — Leon Haywood, the silky smooth R&B singer-songwriter and producer whose 1975 single “I Want’a Do Something Freaky to You” was famously sampled by Dr. Dre and others, died in his sleep in Los Angeles.
Phife Dawg – Nov. 20, 1970 – March 22, 2016 — Phife Dawg, a founding member of the rap group A Tribe Called Quest, Phife, whose real name is Malik Taylor, suffered a series of medical complications in recent years.
Daryl Coley – Oct. 30, 1955 – March 15, 2016 — Minister and Gospel singer Daryl Coley has died in hospice care. Known for songs like “He’s Preparing Me,” “When Sunday Comes “and “Beyond the Vail,” Coley was born in Berkley, California.
Vanity(Denise Matthews) – Jan. 4, 1959 – Feb. 15, 2016 — Denise Matthews, who as Vanity fronted the group Vanity 6 but was best known for her collaboration with Prince, died at a hospital in Fremont, California. Spokesperson Gisela Hernandez did not say when Matthews died or under what circumstances.
Maurice White –Dec. 19, 1941 – Feb. 4, 2016 — Maurice White, founder and co-vocalist of Earth, Wind & Fire has died aged 74. His brother confirmed the musician died in his sleep in Los Angeles after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. The band is known for hits such as Shining Star, September, Boogie Wonderland.
Nicholas Caldwell – April 5, 1944 – Jan. 5, 2016 — Nicholas Caldwell, co-founder and singer with the California R&B group The Whispers, has died. He was 71 of congestive heart failure at his San Francisco home.
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