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Tag: In Memoriam (71-80 of 326)

Chris Lighty, manager of stars like Mariah Carey, LL Cool J, and Diddy, has died at 44

Chris Lighty, the hip-hop impresario and manager of the likes of Busta Rhymes, 50 Cent, and Diddy, has died. He was 44 years old.

According to a report in the New York Daily News, Lighty took his own life in his Bronx apartment this morning following an argument with his ex-wife. Though details remain scarce, authorities do know that he and his wife divorced last year, and that he may have owed as much as $5 million to the IRS in unpaid taxes.

At the turn of the century, being managed by Lighty and his Violator Entertainment shingle was a prestigious get — some of the biggest names in the music industry came under his guidance, including Mariah Carey, Missy Elliott, LL Cool J, Nas, and Ja Rule.

He began his career under the tutelage of Lyor Cohen and Russell Simmons as Rush Management in the late ’80s, later setting up Violator as one of the early multi-pronged management companies. They produced two compilations (Violator: The Album, and Violator: The Album, V2.0), which featured the likes of Q-Tip (performing his breakout solo single “Vivrant Thing”), Fat Joe, Mobb Deep, Cam’Ron, Cee-Lo, and Mase.

There was rarely a rap star from that era who didn’t come in contact with Lighty, who was known as a fair and savvy navigator of the ever-tumultuous waters of the hip-hop world, and he will undoubtedly be missed.

Read More on EW.com:
Review: Violator: The Album
Review: Violator: The Album, V2.0

Marshall Tucker Band guitarist Swanlund dies at 54

Marshall Tucker Band guitarist Stuart Swanlund has died. He was 54.\

Publicist Don Murry Grubbs said Monday night that the guitarist died in his sleep of natural causes Saturday at his Chicago home.

Swanlund joined the band in 1985 after it had split up and regrouped. He was the longest running member of the group except for founding member Doug Gray.

The group is best known for its 1977 Top 40 hit “Heard It In a Love Song.” Their sound is a blend of rock, country and gospel.

Swanlund’s funeral will take place Saturday at the Good Shepherd Memorial Park in Boiling Springs, S.C.

He’s survived by his sister, three grandchildren, a son, William “Billy” Swanlund, and his lifelong partner, Stacey Schmaren.

Members of Hold Steady, Vampire Weekend, more join Jerry Garcia tribute live-streaming this Friday

As those of you on the golden road (to unlimited devotion) already know, today would have been Jerry Garcia’s 70th birthday. And while the beloved Grateful Dead frontman is no longer sitting on top of the world, he’s still got plenty of friends truckin’ on his behalf, seventeen years after his death at age 53 of a heart attack.

Dead guitarist Bob Weir has announced that his TRI Studios will be live-streaming a Jerry Garcia tribute concert this Friday for the occasion. The high-definition webcast will be emceed by actor Luke Wilson and viewable at both TRI’s site and at Yahoo! Music starting at 6:30 pm PST, and feature a range of fans and friends.

So far, the announced roster includes indie-rock favorites like Hold Steady members Craig Finn and Tad Kubler, Vampire Weekend-er Chris Tomson, and California songwriter Cass McCombs, as well as folk-slash-jam artists like Phish vet Mike Gordon, psych dude Jonathan Wilson, and Willie Nelson and Paul Simon offspring Lukas Nelson and Harper Simon — all of whom will be headed by Weir.

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No Use For a Name singer Tony Sly dead at 41

Tony Sly, singer and chief songwriter for veteran California pop punk band No Use For a Name, has passed away at age 41. His cause of death has yet to be released.

In a statement posted to the band’s label’s website, Fat Wreck Chords founder and NoFX frontman Fat Mike said, “One of my dearest friends and favorite song writers has gone way too soon. Tony, you will be greatly missed.”

READ FULL STORY

In honor of her death one year ago, listen to our Amy Winehouse playlist

It’s hard to believe it, but it’s only been a year since the talented and troubled British singer Amy Winehouse passed away at the age of 27.

The mark she left on the musical landscape is considerable (she helped usher the United Kingdom’s ongoing explosion of soul and R&B singers, and everyone from Patti Smith to Green Day have dedicated songs to her), and her absence has been felt more deeply thanks to string of posthumously released material, including a Grammy-winning duet with Tony Bennett and a collab or two with Nas.

There are many ways to remember Winehouse’s life. One great way is by donating to the Amy Winehouse Foundation, which provides “help, support or care for young people, especially those who are in need by reason of ill health, disability, financial disadvantage or addiction.”

Of course, another way to honor the singer is to listen to her music. She was only able to put out two albums (2003′ Frank and 2006’s platinum breakout Back in Black) in her lifetime, but she still supplied us with more than enough great songs. Combined with cuts from last year’s Lioness collection and a cameo on this year’s Nas album Life is Good, our playlist of Amy Winehouse favorites is worth a spin of three today.

Give it a listen with the Spotify player below:

READ FULL STORY

Early female rapper Ms. Melodie is dead at 43

Ms. Melodie, the ex-wife of rap icon KRS-One and former member of the legendary Boogie Down Productions family, died yesterday at the age of 43.

The cause of death is still unknown, but The Urban Daily has reported that the Brooklyn emcee passed away in her sleep.

Ms. Melodie, born Ramona Scott, first stepped onto the hip hop scene with her 1988 single “Hype According to Ms. Melodie.”  One year later, she released her lone studio album, Diva, which featured the track “Live on Stage”– later famous as one of the classic music videos from rap’s foundational era.

Many in the hip hop community has taken to Twitter to commemorate the life of one of rap’s first leading ladies, including Russell Simmons and fellow New York rapper Talib Kweli, who tweeted, “I’m Ms. Melodie and I’m a born again rebel. Rest in power sister.”  (His words are a reference to Melodie’s verse on BDP’s 1989 socially conscious hit, “Self Destruction.”)

She is survived by her two sons.

Read more on EW.com:
Rapper Murs ‘Animal Style’ supports gay equality
Public Enemy releases new album ‘Most of My Heroes Still Don’t Appear on No Stamp’
Azealia Banks releases ‘Fantasea’ mixtape as free online download

Funk Brothers bass player Bob Babbitt dies at 74

Prominent Motown studio musician and Funk Brothers member Bob Babbitt, whose bass playing pounded through the Temptations hit “Ball of Confusion” and Marvin Gaye’s “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology),” has died. He was 74.

Babbitt died Monday of complications from brain cancer in Nashville, Tenn., where he had lived for many years, his manager David Spero said in a statement released by Universal Music, the label in which Babbitt contributed to numerous hit records.

Well-known for decades among musicians, Babbitt laid down bass lines on Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered,” along with “The Tears of a Clown” by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, “Inner City Blues” by Marvin Gaye, and Edwin Starr’s “War.”

“Bob was a teddy bear of a guy,” former Motown engineer Ed Wolfrum told the Detroit Free Press. “And he was an extraordinary musician — a player’s player.” READ FULL STORY

Country pioneer Kitty Wells dead at 92

Singer Kitty Wells, whose hits such as “Making Believe” and “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels” made her the first female superstar of country music, died Monday. She was 92. The singer’s family said she died peacefully at home after complications from a stroke.

Her solo recording career lasted from 1952 to the late 1970s and she made concert tours from the late 1930s until 2000. That year, she announced she was quitting the road, although she performed occasionally in Nashville and elsewhere afterward.

Her “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels” in 1952 was the first No. 1 hit by a woman soloist on the country music charts and dashed the notion that women couldn’t be headliners. Billboard magazine had been charting country singles for about eight years at that time.

She recorded approximately 50 albums, had 25 Top 10 country hits and went around the world several times. From 1953 to 1968, various polls listed Wells as the No. 1 female country singer. Tammy Wynette finally dethroned her. READ FULL STORY

Deep Purple co-founder Jon Lord dies

Jon Lord, the keyboardist and co-founder of Deep Purple, has died. He was 71 years old, and according to reports had been receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer since last year.

As a member of Deep Purple, Lord played on all the band’s definitive hits, including their breakout cover of Billy Joe Royal’s “Hush” (Lord’s vibey organ playing gave the song its haunting psychedelic quality) and on the iconic smash “Smoke on the Water,” which he also co-wrote.

All told, Deep Purple sold over 100 million albums worldwide, and the bulk of that business was done during Lord’s first tenure with the band, which lasted from the group’s inception in 1968 until the band collectively went on hiatus in 1976. He rejoined when the group reconstituted in 1984 and retired from the group for good in 2002.

In addition to his work with Deep Purple, Lord also worked with Whitesnake and found considerable success as a classical composer, penning a handful of well-received concertos mostly during the Deep Purple hiatus in the late ’70s.

Through his keyboard work in Deep Purple, Lord is often credited as the artist who made it reasonable for hard rock bands to incorporate strings, horns, and keys into their sounds, leading to the multiplatinum hybrid sounds of bands like Def Leppard and Bon Jovi.

In honor of Lord, check out this clip of him and the rest of Deep Purple playing “Hush” on a 1968 episode of Playboy After Dark: READ FULL STORY

Nas and Amy Winehouse's 'Cherry Wine': Hear it here!

One of the finest moments on Amy Winehouse’s posthumous compilation Lioness: Hidden Treasures was “Like Smoke,” her tag-team with rapper Nas. Now Winehouse returns the favor, as “Cherry Wine,” the pair’s collaboration from Nas’ forthcoming album Life Is Good, just made its way online.

The track was produced by Salaam Remi, who has twiddled the knobs for both stars in the past (he helmed “Made You Look” for Nas and “Tears Dry on Their Own” for Winehouse). It’s another swanky groove bomb that finds Nas tapping into an extra-spry flow he hasn’t commanded in years.

The highlight, however, is Winehouse’s contribution, which is so lovely, powerful, and mysterious that it only drives home just how much the music world lost when Winehouse passed away last year.

Give the song a listen below. The quality isn’t great, but the power of both voices comes through despite the hitches.  READ FULL STORY

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