Black Music Icons Lost

By Gary Norris Gray BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: February 13, 2012

Gary Norris Gray BASN Staff Reporter

Whitney Houston Rest in Peace.

Whitney Houston Rest in Peace.

OAKLAND, CA.(BASN)–America is losing Black musical icons with each passing year and many wonder if anybody really thought about how it started with the passing of Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac in 1996.


This past weekend Grammy Award winner Whitney Houston passed away in a Los Angeles hotel bathtub. This could be an end of an outstanding music era. Talented Black men and women that made America dance to their tunes.

The past 12 years there have been a plethora of untimely deaths in the Black music world.


Sports and the media have inter-twined for years with celebrities singing our national anthem before a baseball, basketball, or football game. One of Whitney Houston’s greatest moments had to be Super Bowl XXV between the New York Football Giants and the Buffalo Bills both teams wore America’s colors red, white, and blue so the stage was set. The United Nation Coalition Troops just entered Iraq under Operation Desert Storm in 1991.

Whitney steped on the field and preformed like no other on this night as many will always remember.


But now we have to step back and take a look at this long list of legions lost in the African American community and the Music world.


1.Etta James- At Last

2.Lou Rawls – the BET-HBCU Black College fundraiser – Groovy People

3.McFadden and Whitehead who wrote for the Philly sound- Ain’t No Stopping Us Now

4.Heavy D- In Living Color theme song

5.Nick Ashford- Is it Still Good To You

6.Tina Marie- Blue Eyed Soul- Lover Girl

7.James Brown – the God Father of Soul -I’m Black and I’m Proud

8.Michael Jackson, – the King of Pop- You Are Not Alone

9.Tupac Shakur to Chris “B.I.G”. Wallace in the world of rap

10.Disabled artist Curtis Mayfield, Johnny Wilder Jr.-lead singer for Heat Wave, Ray Charles, and Teddy Pendergrass,

11. Smooth voice of Luther Vandrous- House Is Not A Home

12. The young Ladies, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, Aaliyah, and Salena with her Latin sound,

13.Richard “Dimples” Field- She’s Got Papers On Me,

14. Edmond Silvers of the Silvers-Boogie Fever and Hot Line,

15.Renee Diggs of the group Starpoint-Object of My Desire,

16. Valerie Jones of the Jones Girls-Your Going To Make Me Love Somebody Else,

17.Eugene Record lead singer of the Chi-Lites- Oh Girl

18.Tyronne Davis-If I Could Turn Back The Hands of Time,

19.Edwin Star-War,

20.June Pointer of the Pointer sisters- Yes, We Can-Can

21.Van McCoy- The Hussle, which is still done at weddings 40 years later.


22.Clarence “Satch” Satchell of the Ohio Players- Skin Tight

23.Luther Ingram-If Loving You Is Wrong I Don’t Want To Be Right

24.Harry Ray of Ray Goodman and Brown- Must Be Special Lady

25.Harold Melvin and Lawrence Lloyd Brown of the Blue Notes- Bad Luck

26.Wayne Cooper of Cameo- Word Up

27.The Motown has had its loses with Jr. Walker of the All Stars, four of the five Original Temptations, three of The Four Tops are not with us and the fourth is severely disabled, One of the Gladys Knight and The Pips-Edward Patten, and one of the Original Supremes.


28. Claydes Charles Smith the lead guitar player for Kool and the Gang,

29.Tony Sylvester of the Main Ingredient,

30.Ronald Winans of the gospel group “The Winans”,

31.Zola Taylor the female voice of the Platters,

32.Bobby Bird of the Famous Flames,

33.Cool Papa Staples-Roebuck Staples of the Staple Singers,

34.Billy Henderson and Philippe Wynn of the Spinners- Rubber Band Man

35.Ike Turner of Ike and Tina fame,

36.Marvin “Sweet Louie” Smith of the Checkmates – Black Pearl,

37.Isaac Hayes-Hot Buttered Soul,

38. Al Wilson-Show and Tell,

39.Billy Preston-Will It Go Round In Circles?,

40. Sean Levert of Levert, one of the sons of lead singer for the O Jays Eddie Levert

41. Don Cornlius-The Soul Train Television Show

42. Whitney Houston- The Greatest Love Of All

43. Rick James – Do You Love Me Mary Jane?


These are the 59 Black music stars are gone but not forgotten in 2012. Yes a Musical Era has passed.

©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod