Joni Sledge, the singer best-known for the disco anthem We Are Family, has died aged 60. Joni, who formed Sister Sledge with her three siblings in 1971, was found unresponsive by a friend at her home in Phoenix, Arizona, her publicist said. Sledge, who is survived by her adult son, last performed with the band in October.
The Grammy-winning jazz singer Al Jarreau has died in a Los Angeles hospital, days after announcing his retirement from touring due to exhaustion. A statement posted to Facebook said Jarreau “passed away this morning. He was in the hospital, kept comfortable by his wife, son, and a few of his family and friends. The Wisconsin native won seven Grammys over a 50-year career and was one of few artists to have won Grammys in three categories – jazz, pop and R&B. He was also a vocalist on the all-star 1985 charity track We Are the World and sang the theme to the TV hit Moonlighting, for which he wrote the lyrics
Tommy LiPuma, athe producer and label chief whose work with jazz and pop artists resulted in more than 30 Grammy nominations and sales of more than 75 million albums, has died in New York City after a brief illness. He was 80. LiPuma had a key A&R job at A&M in its formative years, was a co-founder of Blue Thumb, was an A&R exec/producer at Warner Bros. in the late ‘70s, a Senior VP at Elektra and the Verve Music Group chief from the mid-1990s to 2011 and played crucial role in the careers of George Benson, Diana Krall, Al Jarreau (see above), Barbra Streisand and Natalie Cole. LiPuma also recently produced Paul McCartney’s 'Kisses on the Bottom', for which he won the fourth of his five Grammys, and an album for trumpeter Dominick Farinacci.
Deke Leonard, the author, raconteur, and guitarist of legendary Welsh band Man, has died at the age of 72. The Llanelli-born musician, who had recently returned to live in the town with long-time partner Mary, made his name with the South Wales rock band.
Steve Lang, former bassist for Canadian rock legends April Wine, has passed away at the age of 67. April Wine guitarist/vocalist Brian Greenway saud “It is with great sadness that I let you know that Steve Lang passed away. I was in many bands with Steve. Steve was the bassist of April Wine 1975 to 1984. All the big hits. Steve also did very well as a Financial Investor with his own company. He was a friend of 50 years. Steve was 67. My sincere condolences to his family.”
Singer-songwriter and music industry executive Tommy Page has been found dead. He was 46.
Page is best known for his 1990 US number one single 'I'll be Your Everything'. In 1997 he moved over to the other side of the industry, working for Warner Bros Records in A&R for almost fifteen years. In 2011, he left the label to become a publisher at music industry magazine Billboard. Subsequently, he has held senior roles at Pandora, Cumulus Media and the Village Voice. He also continued to perform live.
Toby Lovegrove, the much-loved member of the Glastonbury Festival’s crew, has passed away suddenly in Thailand. Toby’s family have worked at the Festival for many years, with Toby coming to Glastonbury from early childhood and going on to work as a lighting technician for the Glade and Silver Hayes areas. Toby was a hugely valued member of the Festival’s crew and Glastonbury was, according to Toby’s family, “his favourite place on earth”.
Peter Overend Watts, the flamboyant bass player with Mott The Hoople has died aged 69. It was Watts who persuaded the band to reform after David Bowie offered them 'All The Young Dudes' which then went to number 3 in the UK singles carts, and with Bowie producing their next album going top ten, the band the band enjoyed commercial success, albiet success with a 'glam rock' flavour. In later life Watts was a keen fisherman and keen walker, and completed the Lands End to John o'Groats walk in 63 days, as well as the length of Offas's Dyke, and Alfred Wainwright's Coast to Coact pathways. Dale 'Buffin' Griffin, Mott Tbe Hooper's drummer, who went on t be a successful record prodicer died last year aged 67. Griffin and Watts recorded music as the British Lions.
Bryn Lewis, The founder and owner of the 500 capacity The Brook in Southampton, has dies after a short illness.