2003 Famous Black Americans Who Crossed Over In …
Roebuck Pops Staples Age: 85 December 28, 1914 – December 19, 2000 Roebuck "Pops" Staples died after a brief illness in 2000, he was 85. Daughter Cleotha is currently suffering with Alzheimers disease.
Gloria Foster Age: 67 Nov. 15, 1933 – Sept. 29, 2001 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 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 2001's The Matrix Reloaded, Foster sadly died of diabetes before completing all of her scenes for the film.
Kenny Greene Age: 32 Jan. 17, 1969 – Oct. 1, 2001 As a member of the R&B group Intro, Greene (pictured in the center) wrote and produced most, if not all, of the group's tracks and was lead vocalist. He also wrote many songs for other artists, such as Mary J. Blige's "Reminisce" and "Love No Limit." For his work with Blige, Greene won the Songwriter of the Year award from the American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers'. Greene also worked with Will Smith and 98 Degrees. The last time he recorded was early in 2001 singing background vocals for Tyrese on the song "For Always" on the 2000 Watts album. In a 2001 interview with Sister 2 Sister magazine, Greene revealed that he was bisexual and that he was suffering from AIDS. He died in New York City, due to complications of the disease at the age of 32.
Merlin Santana Age: 26 March 14, 1976 – Nov. 9, 2002 Merlin Santana 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. 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.
Doreen Waddell Age: 36 July 10, 1965 - March 1, 2002 Doreen Waddell, a former vocalist with the groups Soul II Soul died in a traffic accident, apparently after running from a store where she had been accused of shoplifting. 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.
Teresa Graves Age: 54 Jan. 10, 1948 – Oct. 10, 2002 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. 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.
Rosetta LeNoire Age: 90 Aug. 8, 1911 – March 17, 2002 Rosetta LeNoir, whom many of us know as Mother Winslow from the long-lived sitcom "Family Matters," died in New Jersey after what has only been described as a long illness. She was 90.
Dino Conner Age: 28 Nov. 18, 1974 - Jan. 28, 2003 R&B Singer. Member of the early 90's hip-hop group H-Town. Their debut album, "Fever For Da Flavor" spawned the smash hit single "Knockin' Da Boots". H-Town also included Dino's fraternal twin brother Shazam. On January 28, 2003, after leaving a Houston recording studio, Dino and his pregnant fiancée were stopped at a red light when a speeding SUV crashed into the driver's side of the car, ejecting both Dino and his fiancée into a parking lot. The fiancée died on impact and Dino died in route to the hospital.
Lynn Thigpin Age: 54 Dec. 22, 1948 – March 12, 2003 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.
William Horace Marshall Age: 78 August 19 1924 –June 11 2003 William Horace Marshall 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 Marshall died June 11, 2003, from complications arising from Alzheimer's disease and diabetes.
Nell Carter Age: 54 Sept. 13, 1948 - Jan. 23, 2003 Flamboyant singer and actress who won a Tony and an Emmy Award for her performance in Ain't Misbehavin'. She starred in the television series Gimme a Break! Carter died from heart disease complicated by diabetes and obesity in Beverly Hills, CA.
Maynard Jackson, Jr. Age: 65 March 23, 1938 - June 23, 2003 Influential former mayor of Atlanta, Ga., who transformed the city into a power base for the black middle class by advocating for the city's black majority and establishing affirmative-action programs. He died of cardiac arrest at an Arlington, Virginia hospital after suffering a heart attack at Reagan National Airport in June 2003.
Edwin Starr Age: 61 Jan. 21, 1942 – Apr. 3, 2003 Soul singer Edwin Starr born Charles Hatcher best known for his Grammy-winning 1970 hit, "War." Starr ’ s deep, powerful voice was as soulful as it comes and the message was clear: War," "What is it good for? Absolutely nothing" is as resonant and relevant today as it was when it was meant as a response to the Vietnam War. Starr died of a heart attack at the age of 61 in his home in Beeston near Nottingham, England.
Nina Simone Age: 70 Feb. 21, 1933 – Apr. 21, 2003 Nina Simone born Eunice Kathleen Waymoa, known as a sultry chanteuse whose difficult-to-classify music combined jazz, classical, folk, and gospel and a civil rights activist. The child prodigy played piano at the age of four. Dr. Simone passed away after being ill with cancer for several years before her death in her villa in Carry-le-Rouet in the South of France.
Barry White Age: 58 Sept. 12, 1944 – Jul. 4, 2003 Grammy Award-winning R&B singer and disco icon known for his lush baritone bass voice. His soulful, seductive songs include "Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe" and "You're the First, the Last, My Everything." White, 58, struggled for nearly a year with kidney failure caused by high blood pressure. He died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Exalted as ‘ The Sultan of Soul ’ , ‘ The Man ’ , and ‘ The lcon of Love ’ , Barry White was and forever will be . ’ The Maestro .
Gregory Hines Age 57 Feb. 14, 1946 – Aug. 9, 2003 Born in New York, NY, Hinesn as regarded by many as the greatest tap dancer of his generation, and one who transcended the stage.Hines learned tap dancing as a toddler from his older brother Maurice. When Hines was five years old, he and his brother began dancing professionally, most notably at the Apollo Theater, in Harlem. Hines, the tap-dancing actor who starred on Broadway and in movies including White Nights, The Tic Code, and Running Scared, died of liver cancer in Los Angeles, CA.
Bobby Bonds Age: 57 Mar. 15, 1946 – Aug. 23, 2003 All-Star baseball player who, in his 14 seasons in the major leagues, hit 332 home runs and stole 461 bases. He played for the San Francisco Giants for seven years. His son is slugger Barry Bonds. Bobby died of complications from lung cancer and a brain tumor.
Althea Gibson Age: 76 Aug. 25, 1927 – Sept. 28, 2003 Althea was a professional tennis player who was the first black person to play in and win Wimbledon and the United States national tennis championship. She won both tournaments twice, in 1957 and 1958. She is sometimes referred to as "the Jackie Robinson of tennis" for breaking the "color barrier". Althea died in East Orange, N.J due to respiratory failure.
Fred Berry Age: 52 Mar. 13, 1951 – Oct. 21, 2003 Actor Fred Berry, best known as "Rerun" on the 1970s TV show "What's Happening!!". During the 1990s he became a Baptist minister and lost 100 pounds after being diagnosed with diabetes. He made a living during this time mostly through making public appearances as Rerun. He was married six times to four different women. Berry died at his Los Angeles home where he was recovering from a stroke.
Idi Amin Dada commonly known as Idi Amin , was a Ugandan military dictator and the president of Uganda from 1971 to 1979. Amin joined the British colonial regiment, the King's African Rifles, in 1946, and advanced to the rank of Major General and Commander of the Ugandan Army. He took power in a military coup in January 1971, deposing Milton Obote. His rule was characterized by human rights abuses, political repression, ethnic persecution, extrajudicial killings and the expulsion of Asians from Uganda. The number of people killed as a result of his regime is unknown; estimates from human rights groups range from 100,000 to 500,000. From 1977 to 1979, Amin titled himself as "His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin Dada, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Seas and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular." In 1975–1976, despite opposition, Amin became the Chairman of the Organization of African Unity, a pan-Africanist group designed to promote solidarity of the African states. During the 1977–1979 period, Uganda was appointed to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. Dissent within Uganda, and Amin's attempt to annex the Kagera province of Tanzania in 1978, led to the Uganda-Tanzania War and the fall of his regime in 1979. Amin fled to Libya, before relocating to Saudi Arabia in 1981, where he died in 2003. Idi Amin Age: 78 (May 17, 1925 – 16 Aug. 2003)
2004 Famous Black Americans Who Crossed Over In …
Ron O’Neal Age: 66 Sept. 1, 1937 - Jan. 14, 2004 Actor Ron O'Neal, best known for starring in two "Superfly" blaxploitation movies in the 1970s. O'Neal, who was 66, died at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
Paul Winfield Age: 62 May 22, 1940 Mar.7, 2004 Academy Award-nominated actor Paul Winfield was nominated for an Emmy for his portrayal of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and nominated for an Oscar for his lead performance in the movie “ Sounder. ” Winfield was not especially publicly open about his sexual orientation for most of his life. His life-partner of 30 years, Charles Gillian, Jr., died in 2002. Winfield died of a heart attack, said his agent Michael Livingston.
Ray Charles Age: 73 Sept. 23, 1930 – Jun. 11, 2004 Ray Charles was one of American music's great innovators, blending the gospel of the black church with the sensuality of the blues to create an emotionally raw genre called soul. Blind by age 7 and an orphan at 15, Charles spent his life shattering any notion of musical boundaries and defying easy definition. He died at his home in Beverly Hills, California at age 73 after a long battle with liver disease.
Isabel Sanford Age: 86 Aug. 29, 1917 – Jul. 9th 2004 Isabel Sanford, best known as "Weezie" or Louise Jefferson on the sitcoms "The Jeffersons," and "All in the Family" She received her break in showbiz as “ Tillie ” in the movie “ Guess Who Is Coming To Dinner ” .. In 1981, Sanford became the first black woman to receive an Emmy for Best Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on “ The Jeffersons. ” Sanford died of natural causes at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center with her daughter Pamela Ruff at her side.
Rick James Age: 56 Feb. 1, 1948 – Aug. 6, 2004 Funk legend Rick James, best known for the 1981 hit "Super Freak' before his career collapsed in a cloud of violent drug charges died in his sleep at his residence near Universal City, apparently of natural causes.
O. D. B. Age: 35 Nov. 11, 1969 – Nov. 13, 2004 O.D.B. or to use his full monicker, Ol' Dirty Bastard, died in a recording studio 2 days away from his 36th birthday. O.D.B. (real name Russell Jones) was finishing off his comeback album and apparently complained of chest pains before collapsing in the studio. He was one of the founding members of the Wu-Tang Clan, who recorded some of the most influential hip-hop of the '90s.
Reggie White Age: 43 Dec. 19, 1961 – Dec. 26, 2004 Reggie White, a fearsome defensive end for the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers who was one of the great players in NFL history. White died at Presbyterian Hospital, where he was taken after his wife called 911. The Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner's Office ruled that White died from cardiac and pulmonary sarcoidosis. White, a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and ordained minister was known as the "Minister of Defense “ .
Edmund Sylvers was the lead singer of the group "The Sylvers." At age 47, he would succumb to lung cancer following a 10-month illness. The Sylvers hits include: "Boogie Fever," and "Hot Line." Edmund Sylvers Age: 47 Jan. 25, 1957 – Mar. 11, 2004
2005 Famous Black Americans Who Crossed Over In …
Shirley Chisholm Age: 80 Nov. 30, 1924 – Jan. 1, 2005 Mrs. Chisholm was an American politician, educator and author. She was a Congresswoman, representing New York's 12th District for seven terms from 1969-1983. In 1968, she became the first African American woman elected to Congress. In 1972, she became the first African American and the first woman to make a serious bid to be President of the United States.
Lamont Bentley Age: 31 Oct. 25, 1973 – Jan. 18, 2005 Lamont Bentley, who was a regular in the 1990s sitcom Moesha and appeared frequently in television and movies, was killed in a car crash. Bentley died when his vehicle plunged off the San Diego Freeway, manager Susan Ferris said. He was the only person in the vehicle. There is a suspicion of possible suicide.
Ossie Davis Age: 87 Dec. 18, 1917 – Feb. 4, 2005 Actor Ossie Davis, actor, film director, activist and husband of Ruby Dee, pioneered roles for African Africans in a stage and screen career that spanned more than 50 years. Davis was found dead by his grandson and paramedics at the Shore Club hotel in Miami Beach, where the actor had been shooting the film "Retirement". Davis was born “ Raiford Chatman Davis ” in Cogdell, Georgia
Reggie Roby Age: 43 Jul. 30, 1961 – Feb. 22, 2005 A 16-year NFL veteran punter and three-time Pro Bowl selection, Reggie Roby was found unconscious at home by his wife Melissa Roby with no pulse. The cause of death, to date, remains unannounced, but it is speculated that it was a heart attack. Former Miami Dolphins head coach Don Shula praised Reggie Roby by stating, "He was an outstanding punter for us and his booming kicks often helped us win the field position battle."
Johnnie Cochran Jr. Age: 67 Oct. 2, 1937 – Mar. 29, 2005 Johnnie Cochran Jr., an attorney who rose to fame when he helped win an acquittal for O.J. Simpson in a double-murder trial. Cochran died at his home in Los Angeles, his family said in an emailed statement. He had been suffering from a brain tumor, the family reported to the media.
Ronald Winans Age: 48 Jun. 30, 1956 – Jun. 17, 2005 Ronald Winans, a Grammy-winning member of The Winans and of gospel's first family. Winans, who suffered a heart attack in 1997, died at Harper Hospital of heart complications. He had recently been admitted for observation for congestive heart failure after doctors realized he was retaining fluid.
Luther VanDross Age: 54 Apr. 20, 1951 – Jul. 1, 2005 Grammy award winner Luther VanDross, whose deep, lush voice on such hits as "Here and Now" and "Any Love" sold more than 25 million albums while providing the romantic backdrop for millions of couples worldwide. VanDross died at John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Edison, N.J., the cause of death is not known, although hospital spokesman Rob Cavanaugh has said that VanDross never recovered from the 2003 stroke. It was reported that he died peacefully, surrounded by his family and friends.
Renaldo "Obie" Benson Age: 69 Jun. 14, 1936 – Jul. 1, 2005 Renaldo "Obie" Benson, a soul and R&B singer and songwriter. He was best known as a member of Motown group The Four Tops. Benson succumbed to lung cancer and other illnesses. His last performance as a Four Top was on April 8, 2005 live on Late Night with David Letterman.
John H. Johnson Age: 87 Jan. 19, 1918 – Aug. 8, 2005 John H. Johnson rose from the welfare rolls of the Depression to become the most successful Black businessman in American history. Johnson started the Johnson Publishing Company in November 1942 based on a $500 loan on his mother's furniture. He was the founder of Ebony and Jet magazines and became a member of the Forbes 400. Johnson publishing is now the largest black publishing company in the world and also owns Fashion Fair Cosmetics, the global leader for makeup and skin care for women of color.
Richard Pryor Age:65 Dec. 1, 1940 –Dec. 10, 2005 Born Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor in Peoria, Illinois, the funnyman had long suffered from health problems at the time of his death. In addition to his multiple sclerosis diagnosis in 1986, he suffered a massive heart attack and underwent triple-bypass surgery in 1990. Pryor was known for his raunchy stand-up comedy and a variety of acting roles, including in "Blazing Saddles", "Superman III," "Lady Sings the Blues ” , “ Car Wash ” , ” Silver Streak ” , ” Which Way is Up? ” “ Greased Lightning ” and "Harlem Nights," in which he starred with his comedic predecessor, Redd Foxx, and his heir apparent, Eddie Murphy.
Brock Peters was an American actor, best known for the role in the 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird of Tom Robinson, the black man unjustly convicted of raping a white girl. Peters made his film debut in Carmen Jones in 1954, but he really began to make a name for himself in such films as To Kill a Mockingbird and The L-Shaped Room . He received a Tony nomination for his starring stint in Broadway's Lost in the Stars . He died of Pancreatic cancer Brock Peters Age: 78 (July 2, 1927 – August 23, 2005)
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown was a Louisiana and Texan American blues musician. He was an acclaimed multi-instrumentalist, who played an array of musical instruments such as guitar, fiddle, mandolin, viola as well as harmonica and drums. He won a Grammy Award for Traditional Blues in 1983 for his album, Alright Again! In September 2004, Brown was diagnosed with lung cancer. Already suffering from emphysema and heart disease, he and his doctors decided to forgo treatment. His home in Slidell, Louisiana was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and he was evacuated to his childhood home town of Orange, Texas, where he died on September 10 at his brother's home, at the age of 81. Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown Age: 81 (April 18, 1924 — Sept. 10, 2005)
Julius "Nipsey" Russell was an American comedian, best known today for his appearances as a guest panelist on game shows from the 1960s through the 1990s, especially Match Game , Password , Hollywood Squares , To Tell the Truth and Pyramid . His appearances were distinguished in part by the short, humorous poems he would recite during the broadcast. These lyrics became so closely associated with Russell that Dick Clark, Bill Cullen, Betty White, and others regularly referred to him as "the poet laureate of television." He also had a leading role in the film version of The Wiz . Russell was also a frequent guest on Dean Martin's Celebrity Roasts. He died of Cancer. Nipsey Russell Age: 87 (Sept. 15, 1918 – Oct. 2, 2005)
Shirley Valerie Horn was an American jazz singer and pianist. Shirley Horn collaborated with many jazz greats including Miles Davis (they influenced each other), Dizzy Gillespie, Toots Thielemans, Ron Carter, Carmen McRae, Wynton Marsalis and others. She was most noted for her ability to accompany herself with nearly incomparable independence and ability on the piano while singing, something described by arranger Johnny Mandel as "like having two heads", and for her rich, lush voice, a smoky contralto (that occasionally rose to a glorious, ringing belt), which was described by noted producer and arranger Quincy Jones as "like clothing, as she seduces you with her voice". Although she could swing as strongly as any straight-ahead jazz artist, Horn's reputation rode on her exquisite ballad work. She tended to take love songs at a glacial tempo, expertly weaving her soft singing (typically in whispery, short phrases like wisps of cigarette smoke) with her gorgeous Impressionist piano chordings and unique dynamic control (a clear example of her artistry can be found in her cover of Jule Styne's The Music that Makes Me Dance , found on her album You Won't Forget Me ). Horn has also been cited by noted Canadian jazz singer and pianist Diana Krall as a major inspiration and influence. Horn is thought by some to be one of a quartet of America's "great jazz divas", along with Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan. Shirley Horn Age: 71 (May 1, 1934 - October 20, 2005)
Rosa Louise McCauley Parks was an African American civil rights activist whom the U.S. Congress later called the "Mother of the Modern-Day Civil Rights Movement". On December 1, 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks refused to obey bus driver James Blake's order that she give up her seat to make room for a white passenger. Her action was not the first of its kind: Irene Morgan, in 1946, and Sarah Louise Keys, in 1955, had won rulings before the Supreme Court and the Interstate Commerce Commission respectively in the area of interstate bus travel. But unlike these previous individual actions of civil disobedience, Parks' action sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Rosa Parks Age: 92 (Feb. 4, 1913 – Oct. 24, 2005)
Eugene Record Age: 64 Dec. 23, 1940 – July 22, 2005 Eugene Record was lead vocalist of Chicago based The Chi-Lites during the 1960s and 1970s. 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 Age: 67 May 4, 1938 — February 9, 2005 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.
Edward Patten Age: 65 August 27, 1939 – February 25, 2005 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. Patten suffered from diabetes, and died of a stroke
Willie Hutch Age: 60 Dec. 6, 1944 – Sept. 19, 2005 Willie McKinley Hutchinson, known professionally as Willie Hutch 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. Hutch died on September 19, 2005 of reasons yet to be disclosed. He was 60.
Oscar Brown Jr. Age: 79 Oct. 10, 1926 – May 29, 2005 Oscar Brown, Jr. was a singer, songwriter, playwright, poet, humanitarian and civil rights activist. 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). 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.
2006 Famous Black Americans Who Crossed Over In …
Lou Rawls Age: 72 Dec. 1, 1933 – Jan. 6, 2006 Chicago-born American soul music, jazz, and blues singer Lou Rawls 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 70 albums, sold more than 40 million records, appeared as an actor in motion pictures and on television, and voiced-over many cartoons. Rawls began and continued the "Lou Rawls Parade of Stars Telethon"for the United Negro College Fund for his more than 25 years. Rawls succumed to to lung and brain cancer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles with his wife at his side.
Gene McFadden Age:56 ? 1949 – Jan. 27, 2006 Gene McFadden of the famous Philadelphia songwriting and performing duo McFadden & Whitehead, b est known for the hits such as "Back Stabbers," "I'll Always Love My Momma," "For the Love of Money," 'Wake Up Everybody ” and "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now," which became a Philadelphia sports anthem. Mr. McFadden succumbed to complications from liver and lung cancer at his Philadelphia home of 15 years.
Coretta Scott King Age: 78 Apr. 27,1927 – Jan. 30, 2006 Coretta Scott King, the widow of slain civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., was a strong advocate of equal education opportunities. She was the founder of The King Center, which was established in 1968 as a living memorial dedicated to preserving the legacy of her husband, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and promoting the elimination of poverty, racism and war through research, education and training in Kingian nonviolence. King, who suffered a stroke and a mild heart attack in August 2005, succumbed to ovarian cancer.
Wilson Pickett was an American R&B/Rock and Roll and soul singer and songwriter known for his raw, raspy, passionate vocal delivery. A major figure in the development of American soul music, Pickett recorded over 50 songs which made the US R&B charts, and frequently crossed over to the pop charts as well. Among his best known hits are "In The Midnight Hour" (which he co-wrote), "Land of 1,000 Dances", "Mustang Sally", and "Funky Broadway". The impact of Pickett's songwriting and recording led to his 1991 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He died of an heart attack on Jan. 19, 2006. Wilson Pickett Age: 65 (Mar 18, 1941 – Jan 19, 2006)
Gordon Roger Alexander Buchanan Parks was a groundbreaking American photographer, musician, poet, novelist, journalist, activist and film director. He is best remembered for his photo essays for Life magazine and as the director of the 1971 film Shaft . Gordon Parks Age: 94 (Nov 30, 1912 – Mar 7, 2006)
June Antoinette Pointer Whitmore was an American Pop/R&B singer and was a founding member of the vocal group “The Pointer Sisters” Born the youngest of six to minister parents Reverend Elton and Sarah Pointer, June shared a love for singing with her sisters. In 1969, she and sister Bonnie founded The Pointers - A Pair . The duo became a trio later on that year when Anita quit her job as a secretary to join them; the group changed its name to The Pointer Sisters. After failed singles with Atlantic Records, eldest sister Ruth was enlisted to join the group in 1972. The sisters then signed with Blue Thumb, and their careers finally began taking off. June Pointer Age: 53 (Nov. 30, 1953 – Apr. 11, 2006)
William Everett "Billy" Preston was an American soul musician from Houston, Texas, raised mostly in Los Angeles, California. In addition to his successful, Grammy-winning career as a solo artist, Preston collaborated with some of the greatest names in the music industry, including the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Nat King Cole, Little Richard, Eric Burdon, Ray Charles, George Harrison, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Sam Cooke, King Curtis, Sammy Davis Jr., Sly Stone, Aretha Franklin, the Jackson 5, Quincy Jones, Richie Sambora, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. He played the Fender Rhodes electric piano and the Hammond organ on the Get Back sessions in 1969. Preston is the only non-Beatle to receiving billing as an artist alongside the Beatles (as distinct from receiving credit as a session musician on album packaging) on an official Beatles record release. The label of the Get Back single credits the artists on the record as "The Beatles with Billy Preston". He died of Heart infection/kidney failure Billy Preston Age: 60 (Sept 2, 1946 – June 6, 2006)
Robert Earl Jones was an American actor and the father of actor James Earl Jones. While born in Mississippi, the specific location of his birth is unclear as some sources indicate Senatobia, while others suggest nearby Coldwater.Additionally, his date of birth has been reported by different sources as anywhere from 1900 to 1911. The most likely date is 1910 as reported by the United States Social Security Administration Robert Earl Jones Age: 96 Feb. 3, 1910 – Sept. 7, 2006
Edward Rudolph Bradley, Jr. was an American journalist, best known for twenty-six years of award-winning work on the CBS News television magazine 60 Minutes . During his earlier career he also covered the fall of Saigon, was the first black television correspondent to cover the White House, and anchored his own news broadcast, "CBS Sunday Night with Ed Bradley." He received several awards for his work including the Peabody, Pulitzer, the National Association of Black Journalists Lifetime Achievement Award, and nineteen Emmy Awards. He died of Leukemia. Edward Bradley, Jr. Age: 65 (June 22, 1941 – Nov. 9, 2006)
Gerald Levert was an American R&B singer. Gerald Levert sang with his brother, Sean Levert, and friend Marc Gordon in the R&B trio LeVert. He was also a part of LSG, an R&B musical group comprising Keith Sweat, Johnny Gill, and Levert. His father, Eddie Levert, is the lead singer of the 1970s soul group The O'Jays. Gerald Levert was born to The O'Jays front man Eddie Levert and his wife Martha in Philadelphia on July 13, 1966. Levert grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and due to his father's career, Levert would travel with the band regularly. While in high school, Levert's inclination towards music became apparent when he formed the R&B trio LeVert, with his younger brother Sean Levert (deceased, March 30, 2008) and friend Marc Gordon in 1984. The group proved to be very successful with four of its seven albums going platinum. These include, I Get Hot in 1985, Bloodline in 1986, The Big Throw down in 1987, and Just Coolin in 1988. Among the group's memorable hits were, "(Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop) Goes My Mind", "Casanova", and "ABC-123" (not to be confused with the Jackson 5 hit of the same name). Gerald Levert Age: 40 (July 13, 1966 – Nov. 10, 2006)
James Joseph Brown, Jr. commonly referred to as "The Godfather of Soul", "Mr. Dynamite", the "King of Funk", "Soul Brother #1" and "The Hardest Working Man in Show Business", was an American entertainer (singer and dancer). He is recognized as one of the most influential figures in 20th century popular music and was renowned for his vocals and feverish dancing. As a prolific singer, songwriter and bandleader, Brown was a pivotal force in the music industry. He left his mark on numerous artists. Brown's music also left its mark on the rhythms of African popular music, such as afrobeat, jùjú and mbalax, and provided a template for go-go music. Brown began his professional music career in 1953 and rose to fame during the late 1950s and early 1960s on the strength of his thrilling live performances and string of smash hits. In spite of various personal problems and setbacks he continued to score hits in every decade through the 1980s. In addition to his acclaim in music, Brown was also a presence in American political affairs during the 1960s and 1970s. Brown was recognized by numerous titles, including Soul Brother Number One , Sex Machine , Mr. Dynamite , The Hardest Working Man in Show Business , Minister of The New New Super Heavy Funk , Mr. Please Please Please Please Her , The Boss and foremost the Godfather of Soul . James Brown Age: 73 (May 3, 1933 – Dec. 25, 2006)
Johnnie Wilder Age: 56 July 3, 1949 – May 13, 2006 Johnnie Wilder, Jr. 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 "The 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. 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 Age: 57 Nov. 3, 1949 – Dec. 14, 2006 Michael Jonas Evans was an actor and co-creator of the show "Good Times," Ralph Carter's character Michael Evans was named after him. 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.
Trevor Berbick Age: 51 Aug. 1, 1955 – Oct. 28, 2006 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. 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
2007 Famous Black Americans Who Crossed Over In …
Luther Thomas Ingram born, November 30, 1944, Jackson, Tennessee, USA. This singer/songwriter's professional career began in New York with work for producers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Several unsuccessful singles followed, including I Spy For The FBI, which failed in the wake of Jamo Thomas's 1966 hit version. Luther then moved to Koko Records, a tiny independent label later marketed by Stax. Ingram's career flourished in the wake of this arrangement. With Mack Rice he helped compose Respect Yourself for the Staple Singers, while several of his own releases were R&B hits. The singer's finest moment came when his 1972 recording of the classic Homer Banks, Raymond Jackson and Carl Hampton song, (If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want To Be Right. This tale of infidelity was later recorded by Rod Stewart, Millie Jackson and Barbara Mandrell, but neither matched the heartbreaking intimacy Luther brought to his superb original version. It went on to sell over a million copies and reached number 3 in the US pop charts. The haunting I'll Be Your Shelter (In Time Of Storm) then followed as the artist proceeded to fashion a substantial body of work. His undoubted potential was undermined by Koko's financial problems, but after eight years in the commercial wilderness, Ingram returned to the R&B chart in 1986 with Baby Don't Go Too Far. He died of Diabetes on Monday 19, march 2007. Luther Ingram Age: 63 (Nov. 30, 1944 – Mar. 19, 2007)
Roscoe Lee Browne was an American actor and director, known for his rich voice and dignified bearing. Browne was the son of Baptist minister Sylvanus Browne and his wife Lovie (born Lovie Lee). Born in Woodbury, New Jersey, Browne first attended historically black Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, where he became a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity and graduated with a bachelor's degree in 1946. He undertook postgraduate work at Middlebury College in Vermont, Columbia University in New York City, and at the University of Florence in Italy. Also an outstanding middle-distance runner, Browne won the Amateur Athletic Union 1,000-yard national indoor championship in 1949. He occasionally returned to Lincoln University between 1946 to 1952 to instruct classes in comparative literature, French, and English. Upon leaving academe he earned a living for several years selling wine for Schenley Import Corporation. Despite his limited amateur acting experience, in 1956 he stunned guests at a party — among them opera singer Leontyne Price — when he announced his intention to quit his secure job with Schenley to become a full-time professional actor. He died of Cancer. Roscoe Lee Browne Age: 82 (May 2, 1925 – April 11, 2007)
Ike Wister Turner was an American musician, bandleader, talent scout, and record producer. His first recording, "Rocket 88" by "Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats," in 1951, is considered by some to be the "first rock and roll song" ever. However, he is best known for his work with his ex-wife Tina Turner as one half of the Ike & Tina Turner revue. Spanning a career that lasted half a century, Ike's repertoire included blues, soul, rock, and funk. Alongside his former wife, he was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991 and in 2001 was inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame. Turner won two Grammy Awards. He died of a Cocaine overdose. Ike Turner Age: 76 (Nov. 5, 1931 – Dec. 12, 2007)
Oscar Emmanuel Peterson, was a Canadian jazz pianist and composer. He was called the "Maharaja of the keyboard" by Duke Ellington, "O.P." by his friends, and was a member of jazz royalty. He released over 200 recordings, won seven Grammy Awards, and received other numerous awards and honors over the course of his career. He is considered to have been one of the greatest pianists of all time, who played thousands of live concerts to audiences worldwide in a career lasting more than 65 years. He died of Kidney failure Oscar Peterson Age: 82 (Aug. 15, 1925 – Dec. 23, 2007)
Tony Thompson Age: 32 Sept. 2, 1975 – June 1, 2007 Hi-Five lead singer Tony Thompson was found dead in his hometown of Waco, Texas. Thompson's body was found outside of an apartment complex around 10:00 pm. He allegedly died of drug overdose, but the cause of death has yet to be confirmed
Darryl Stingley Age: 56 Sept. 18, 1951 - April 5, 2007 On August 12, 1978, in a pre-season game against the Oakland Raiders, Darryl Stingley (New England Patriots) was the victim of a hit by the Raiders' defensive back Jack Tatum. As Stingley leapt to make a catch, Tatum used his forearm in a head-on collision that knocked Stingley out cold. The hit compressed Stingley's spinal cord, breaking his fourth and fifth vertebrae. Stingley died at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago after being discovered unresponsive in his home. His death was attributed to heart disease and pneumonia complicated by quadriplegia.
Eddie Griffin Age: 25 May 30, 1982 – August 17, 2007 Eddie Griffin, 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.
Dennis Johnson Age: 52 Sept. 18, 1954 – Feb. 22, 2007 Dennis Johnson, a five-time All-Star and star defensive guard who was part of three NBA championships. He played on title teams with the Boston Celtics in 1984 and 1986 and the Seattle SuperSonics in 1979, a series in which he won the finals MVP title. Johnson was coach of the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League. Johnson was found unconscious and in cardiac arrest when paramedics arrived at Austin Convention Center. He died Feb. 22 at the age of 52
Damien Nash Age: 24 April 14, 1982 – Feb. 24, 2007 Damien Nash, #29, a running back for the Denver Broncos for the 2006-2007 season collapsed suddenly following a celebrity charity basketball game at Riverview Gardens High School on February 23, 2007. He was found unresponsive at a residence in suburban St. Louis and was later pronounced dead.
Marquise Hill Age: 24 August 7, 1982 – May 28, 2007 Marquise Hill was an American football defensive end for the New England Patriots of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Patriots in the second round of the 2004 NFL Draft. He played college football at LSU. On the evening of May 27, 2007, Hill and his friend, Ashley Blazio, fell off a jet ski in Lake Pontchartrain, north of New Orleans. According to Hill's agent, who spoke with Blazio, Hill "ended up saving her life, keeping her calm until she could grab onto a buoy." Hill's body was found around 2:15 PM on May 28.
Sean Taylor Age: 24 April 1, 1983 – Nov. 27, 2007 Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor, 24, died on Nov. 27, a day after he was shot at home during a botched burglary at his Florida home. An All-American at the University of Miami, Taylor was drafted by the Redskins as the fifth overall selection in 2004.
Darrent Williams Age: 24 September 27, 1982 – January 1, 2007 Darrent Williams was selected by the Denver Broncos in the second round (56th overall) in the 2005 NFL Draft. On January 1, 2007, Williams was shot during a drive-by shooting, at approximately 2:10 A.M. Williams and two other passengers were shot when another vehicle pulled beside his rented Hummer H2 limousine in downtown Denver, Colorado.
Percy Rodrigues Age: 89 June 13, 1918 – Sept. 6, 2007 Percy Rodrigues’ role as a neurosurgeon in the 1960s television series "Peyton Place" broke ground because he was cast as an authority figure when relatively few black actors were given such parts. From the 1950s through the 1980s, he acted in more than 80 film and television productions, including the 1979 miniseries "Roots: The Next Generation." Rodriguez died of kidney failure at his Indio, California home at the age of 89
Carl Wright Age: 75 1931 – 19 May 2007 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 of Cancer at his home in Chicago
Yolanda Denise KING Age: 51 November 17, 1955 – May 15, 2007 Yolanda Denise King, 51, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr’s eldest child, pursued her father's dream of racial harmony through drama and motivational speaking. King, who died May 15, appeared in a number of films, including a role as civil rights martyr Medgar Evers’ daughter in "Ghosts of Mississippi," and as Rosa Parks in the 1978 television miniseries "King." She collapsed at the home of Philip Madison Jones, her brother Dexter King's best friend, and could not be revived.
Max Roach Age: 83 Jan. 10, 1924 – Aug. 16, 2007 Max Roach, 83, a master percussionist whose rhythmic innovations and improvisations defined bebop jazz. He worked with many of the greatest jazz musicians, including Coleman Hawkins, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Sonny Rollins and Clifford Brown. No cause was given for his death.
Frank Morgan Age: 73 Dec. 23, 1933, - Dec. 14, 2007 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 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 Age: 58 July 12 1949 - Nov. 10, 2007 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, According to multiple sources, her death may have been the result of complications from a surgical procedure.
2008 Famous Black Americans Who Crossed Over In …
Sean Levert was an American R&B singer. Levert was born in Cleveland, Ohio and was the son of Eddie Levert, who sang with The O'Jays. He formed the trio LeVert with older brother Gerald Levert and childhood friend Marc Gordon; together they scored several smash hits on the U.S. R&B charts in the 1980s and early 1990s. In 1995, Sean launched a solo career with the album The Other Side on Atlantic Records, which peaked at #22 on the U.S. R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and #146 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album yielded the charting singles "Put Your Body Where Your Mouth Is" (U.S. R&B #40) and "Same One" (U.S. R&B #57) that same year Sean Levert Age: 39 (Sept. 28, 1968 – Mar. 30, 2008)
Allen LaMar Wilson was an American soul singer best known for the hit song "Show and Tell". Wilson largely disappeared from sight until 1973, when he issued the platinum-selling Weighing In — the album's success was spurred by the shimmering "Show and Tell", a Johnny Mathis castoff that sold well over a million copies. He died of Kidney failure Al Wilson Age: 69 (June 19, 1939 – April 21, 2008)
Bernard Jeffrey McCullough better known by his stage name Bernie Mac , was an American actor and comedian. Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, Mac gained popularity as a stand-up comedian. He joined comedians Steve Harvey, Cedric the Entertainer, and D.L. Hughley as The Original Kings of Comedy . After briefly hosting the HBO show Midnight Mac , he appeared in several films in smaller roles. His most noted film role was as Frank Catton in the remake Ocean's Eleven and its two sequels. He also starred in several films, including Mr. 3000 . He was the star of The Bernie Mac Show , which ran from 2001-2006, earning him two Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. His other films included starring roles in Friday , Bad Santa , Pride , and Soul Men which was one of his final two films. He suffered from sarcoidosis, an inflammatory lung disease that produces tiny lumps of cells in the body's organs, but had said the condition was in remission in 2005. Despite having the disease, his death on August 9, 2008, was caused by complications from pneumonia. Bernie Mac Age: 51 (Oct. 5, 1957– Aug. 9, 2008)
Isaac Lee Hayes, Jr. was an American Academy Award-winning singer-songwriter, actor and musician. 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. Hayes & Porter were named to the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005 in recognition of their string of successful hit songs for Sam & Dave, Carla Thomas and others In the late 1960s. Their hit song "Soul Man" by Sam & Dave has been recognized as one of the best or most influential songs of the past 50 years by the Grammy Hall of Fame, The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Rolling Stone Magazine, and RIAA Songs of the Century. 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. In addition to his work in popular music, Hayes was a film score composer for motion pictures. His best known work, for the 1971 blaxploitation film 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 . In 1992, in recognition of his humanitarian work, he was crowned an honorary king of Ghana's Ada district. Hayes also acted in motion pictures and television; from 1997 to 2006, he provided the voice for the character "Chef" on the Comedy Central animated TV series South Park . Isaac Hayes Age: 66 (Aug. 20, 1942 – Aug. 10, 2008)
Levi Stubbles better known by the stage name Levi Stubbs , was an American baritone singer, best known as the lead vocalist of the Motown R&B group The Four Tops. The most popular of their 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)". Levi Stubbs Age: 72 (June 6, 1936 – Oct. 17, 2008)
Miriam Makeba was a South African singer and civil rights activist. The Grammy Award winning artist is often referred to as Mama Afrika . In 1959, she performed in the musical King Kong alongside Hugh Masekela, her future husband. Her break came when she starred in the anti-apartheid documentary Come Back, Africa in 1959 by independent filmmaker Lionel Rogosin. Makeba then travelled 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. She died of a heart attack. Miriam Makeba Age: 76 (March 4, 1932 - Nov. 10, 2008)
Odetta Holmes , known as Odetta , was an American singer, actress, guitarist, songwriter, and a human rights activist, often referred to as "The Voice of the Civil Rights Movement". Her musical repertoire consisted largely of American folk music, blues, jazz, and spirituals. An important figure in the American folk music revival of the 1950s and 1960s, she was influential musically and ideologically to many of the key figures of the folk-revival of that time, including Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Mavis Staples, and Janis Joplin. She died of a Heart disease and kidney failure Odetta Holmes Age: 78 (Dec. 31, 1930 – Dec. 2, 2008)
Eartha Mae Kitt was an American actress, singer, and cabaret star. She was perhaps best known for her 1953 Christmas song "Santa Baby". Orson Wells once called her the "most exciting woman in the world." She took over the role of Cat woman for the third season of the 1960s Batman television series, replacing Julie Newmar, who was unavailable for the final season. Kitt began her career as a member of the Katherine Dunham Company and made her film debut with them in Casbah (1948). A talented singer with a distinctive voice, her hits include "Let's Do It", "Champagne Taste", "C'est si bon", "Just an Old Fashioned Girl", "Monotonous", "Je cherche un homme", "Love for Sale", "I'd Rather Be Burned as a Witch", "Uska Dara", "Mink, Schmink", "Under the Bridges of Paris", and her most recognizable hit, "Santa Baby", which was released in 1953. She died of Colon cancer. Eartha Kitt Age: 81 (Jan. 17, 1927 – Dec. 25, 2008)
Norman Whitfield Age: 68 May 12, 1940 – Sept. 16, 2008 Producer/songwriter Norman Whitfied is mostly known for his work with Berry Gordy's Motown label during the 1960s. He was credited as being one of the creators of the Motown Sound Hit singles Whitfield produced in his 25-year career included "I Heard It through the Grapevine", "Ain't Too Proud to Beg. "Cloud Nine," "War," "Papa Was a Rolling Stone," "Smiling Faces Sometimes" and "Car Wash." He was inducted to the Songwriter's Hall of Fame in 2004.
Ivan Dixon Age: 76 April 6, 1931 – Mar. 16, 2008 Ivan Dixon was an actor and television director, best known for his roles in the 1960's sitcom "Hogan's Heroes," and for his Emmy Award-nominated role in the 1967 telefilm "The Final War of Olly Winter. Ivan Dixon died on March 16, 2008, aged 76, at Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina due to complications from kidney failure
Bo Diddley Age: 79 December 30, 1928 – June 2, 2008 Bo Diddley is the stage name for Ellas Otha Bates, an American rock and roll vocalist, guitarist, songwriter, and inventor. He was known as "The Originator" because of his key role in the transition from the blues to rock & roll, influencing a host of legendary acts including Buddy Holly, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, and Eric Clapton. Bo Diddley died on June 2, 2008 of heart failure at his home in Archer, Florida. Garry Mitchell, a grandson of Diddley and one of more than 35 family members at the musician's home when he died
Eugene Thurman Upshaw Jr. Age: 63 August 15, 1945 – August 20, 2008 Eugene Thurman Upshaw, Jr. was a football player for the Oakland Raiders and executive director of the National Football League Players' Association (NFLPA). In 1987, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. While on vacation in mid-August 2008 at his home in Lake Tahoe His wife Terri noticed that his breathing was labored, so she convinced him to go to the emergency room, where he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer On August 20, just five days after his 63rd birthday, Upshaw died
Kevin Duckworth Age: 44 April 1, 1964 – August 25, 2008 Kevin Jerome Duckworth 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.
Julius J. Carry III Age: 56 March 12, 1952 - August 19, 2008 Julius J. Carry III was an actor best known for his role in the film "The Last Dragon," where he portrayed Sho'Nuff. 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." He died on August 19, 2008 of pancreatic cancer.
Rudy Ray Moore Age: 81 March 17, 1927 – October 19, 2008 Rudy Ray Moore 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.
Jheryl Busby Age: 59 May 5, 1949 – November 4, 2008 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.
Freddie Hubbard Age: 70 April 7, 1938 – Dec. 29, 2008 Freddie Hubbard, the Grammy-winning jazz musician whose blazing virtuosity influenced generations of trumpet players and who collaborated with such greats as Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins, died a month after suffering a heart attack at the age of 70.
Bernie Hamilton Age: 80 June 12, 1928 – December 30, 2008 Bernie Hamilton, the brother of jazz drummer Chico Hamilton, was best known for his role on the ’70s police drama “Starsky and Hutch,” Hamilton died of cardiac arrest on December 30, 2008, aged 80.
2009 Famous Black Americans Who Crossed Over In …
MICHAEL JACKSON Age: 50 August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009 Michael Joseph Jackson was an American singer, dancer and entertainer. The Undisputed “ King of Pop” He is the most successful entertainer of all time, and The Greatest Entertainer to ever live. His contributions to music, dance and fashion, along with a much publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades. His passing has not yet been determined, but foul play has not been dismissed. He was 50 years old
Koko Taylor Age: 80 September 28, 1928 – June 3, 2009 KoKo Taylor was an American blues musician, popularly known as the "Queen of the Blues." She was known primarily for her rough, powerful vocals and traditional blues stylings. Taylor died on June 3, 2009, after complications from surgery for gastrointestinal bleeding on May 19, 2009. Her final performance was at the Blues Music Awards, on May 7, 2009.
Wayman Tisdale Age: 44 June 9, 1964 – May 15, 2009 Wayman Lawrence Tisdale was an American professional basketball player in the NBA and a smooth jazz bass guitarist. A three-time All American at the University of Oklahoma, he was elected to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009 His most recent release, Rebound , was written and released after he had been diagnosed with cancer. Tisdale died on the morning of May 15, 2009 at St. John Medical Center in Tulsa, where his wife had taken him when he had trouble breathing.
Steve McNair Age: 36 February 14, 1973 – July 4, 2009 Steve LaTreal McNair was an American football quarterback who spent the majority of his NFL career with the Tennessee Titans. McNair was the victim of homicide on July 4, 2009, from gunshot wounds inflicted by Sahel Kazemi, his mistress, who then turned the gun on herself.
Chris Henry Age: 26 May 17, 1983 – December 17, 2009 Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry died after falling out of the back of a pickup truck in what authorities described as a domestic dispute with his fiancée. Henry was 26 years old
2010 Famous Black Americans Who Crossed Over In …
Teddy Pendergrass Age: 59 March 26, 1950 – January 13, 2010 Theodore DeReese "Teddy" Pendergrass was an American R&B/soul singer and songwriter. Pendergrass first rose to fame as lead singer of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes in the 1970s before a successful solo career at the end of the decade. In 1982, he was severely injured in an auto accident in Philadelphia, resulting in his being paralyzed from the waist down. In 2009, Pendergrass underwent surgery for colon cancer and had difficulty recovering from that disease from which he eventually died following respiratory failure on January 13, 2010, at age 59
Marva Wright, a New Orleans blues and soul singer who worked the clubs on Bourbon Street for many years, died at 62 at her daughter's home in New Orleans. Marva Wright Age: 62
Singer Ron Banks, a founding member of R&B group the Dramatics, died Thursday March 4 at his Detroit home of a reported heart attack. Banks, whose sweet falsetto helped give the Dramatics its signature sound, was a Detroit native who was born May 10, 1951. Ron Banks Age: 58
Guru, the influential rapper known for his intellectual themes, his monotone delivery and his combination of jazz sounds with hip-hop beats, died after battling cancer on 4/19/10, collaborators said. Guru made up the rap duo Gang Starr. Guru Age: 43
Dorothy Height, the leading female voice of the 1960s civil rights movement and a participant in historic marches with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and others, died 4/20/10. Height led the National Council of Negro Women for 40 years. The hospital said in a statement she died of natural causes. Dorothy Height Age: 98
Lena Horne, the enchanting jazz singer and actress who reviled the bigotry that allowed her to entertain white audiences but not socialize with them, slowing her rise to Broadway superstardom, died 5/9/10. She was 92. Horne died at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, according to hospital spokeswoman Gloria Chin. Lena Horne Age: 92
R&B singer Ali-Ollie Woodson, best known for his stint with Motown icons The Temptations died 5/31/10. Woodson died in southern California after a battle with cancer. Ali-Ollie Woodson Age: 58
Gary Coleman has died at the age of 42 on 5/28/10, after suffering a brain hemorrhage that left him in a coma and on life support, multiple news sources have confirmed. The 'Different Strokes' actor was taken to the hospital on 5/26/10, and his condition deteriorated as the days went on. Gary Coleman Age: 42
Legendary P-Funk guitarist Garry Shider, the longtime musical director of Parliament-Funkadelic whose funky guitar work, songwriting skills and musical arrangements thrilled fans around the globe and earned him a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, died on 6/16/10. Garry Shider Age: 56
Marvin Isley, the bass player who helped give R&B powerhouse the Isley Brothers their distinctive sound, died 6/6/2010 at a Chicago hospital. He was 56. Isley died at an inpatient hospice at Weiss Memorial Hospital, according to hospital spokeswoman Catherine Gianaro. She could not confirm a cause of death. Marvin Isley Age: 56
Abbey Lincoln, a jazz singer and songwriter known for her phrasing, emotion and uncompromising style, died 8/14/10 in New York at age 80. She had been declining in health for the past year. Abbey Lincoln Age: 80
Albertina Walker's singing once stopped the filming of a movie because so many actors were moved to tears by the "Queen of Gospel." The Grammy-winning singer died of respiratory failure 10/8/10 at RML Specialty Hospital in Chicago. Albertina Walker Age: 81
Soul pioneer Solomon Burke, whose vocals were a powerful mix of gospel fervor, R&B silkiness and country twang, was revered as the King of Rock & Soul. Burke, who had just arrived at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam to prepare for a concert , died 10/10/10. Solomon Burke Age: 70
Al Goodman, a baritone who performed on several soul and pop hits in the 1970s, including "Love on a Two-Way Street" and "Special Lady," died from complications during surgery at Hackensack University Medical Center . Al Goodman Age: 67
Jazz saxophonist James Moody, who recorded more than 50 solo albums as well as songs with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, Lionel Hampton and B.B. King, has died. He was 85. Moody’s wife, Linda McGowan Moody, says he died 12/09/2010 at San Diego Hospice after battling pancreatic cancer for 10 months. James Moody Age: 85
Teena Marie, a celebrated R&B singer-songwriter was found dead by her daughter after apparently dying in her sleep. Teena was a black voice trapped in a white body. Among her songs were "Lover girl," "Portuguese Love," "Ooo La La La," and "I'm a Sucker for Your Love.“ While no cause of death has been released, the singer's publicist Lynn Jeter said that Marie suffered a grand mal seizure -- a neurological event, marked by loss of consciousness and violent muscle contractions, according to the Mayo Clinic -- a month ago. Teena Marie Age: 54
Bernard “Bernie” Wilson, 64, who helped define the Sound of Philadelphia as a founding member of Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, passed away on 12/26/10. Mr. Wilson had suffered a major stroke last year and a heart attack this year. Bernard “Bernie” Wilson Age: 64
2011 Famous Black Americans Who Crossed Over In …
The 93-year-old founder of America’s foremost museum of African American history has died in her Chicago home, surrounded by her family, the Sun-Times reported. Margaret Burroughs was one of nine principal founders of the DuSable Museum of African American History. The museum was founded in 1961 Margaret Burroughs Age 93
I didn’t know that so many special people have gone on to glory. How about you?
Were you surprised by anyone who has died? My, how time does fly!
These Talented Famous Black Folks Are a Part of Our Heritage. They Will Be Missed But Never Forgotten!!!
THE <ul><li>END </li></ul>BLACK POWER ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE
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