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Mazzy Star Co-Founder And Producer David Roback Dies

David Roback performing with Mazzy Star in 2013

Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images 

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Mazzy Star Co-Founder And Producer David Roback Dies

The Paisley Underground scene member also performed in Rain Parade and Opal during his musical career

GRAMMYs/Feb 26, 2020 - 05:31 am

Producer and co-founder of '90s dream-pop outfit Mazzy Star David Roback has died at 61. The cause of death has yet to be announced.

Born in Los Angeles in 1958, Roback was a major player in the West Coast 1980s Paisley Underground scene and went on to play in such bands as Rain Parade (which he co-founded) and Opal, as well as Mazzy Star, which he co-founded alongside singer Hope Sandoval.

Sandoval and Roback originally met in the mid-'80s when Sandoval replaced Opal bassist Kendra Smith, who also played in Dream Syndicate. The pair would go on to change Opal's name to Mazzy Star in 1989.

Mazzy Star released their first album, She Hangs Brightly, in 1990. Their follow-up, 1993's So Tonight That I Might See, 

The first album from Mazzy Star, She Hangs Brightly, was released in 1990. The follow-up, 1993’s So Tonight That I Might See, featured the track "Fade Into You," which is still widely regarded as Mazzy Star's biggest hit.

In addition to co-writing all of Mazzy Star's songs, including 2013's Seasons Of Your Day and 2018's The Still EP, Roback also acted as producer, engineer and mixer for all of the band's material.

Founding member of the Bangles Susanna Hoffs posted her reaction to Twitter shortly after the news broke on Tuesday, Feb. 25, writing, "Peace and love David Roback... my first musical partner and my very dear friend. You will be eternally missed."

 

Melvin Edmonds Of R&B Vocal Group After 7 Dies At 65

Melvin Edmonds

Photo: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

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Melvin Edmonds Of R&B Vocal Group After 7 Dies At 65

Edmonds was the "soul" and "signature element" of the group said member Keith Mitchell

GRAMMYs/May 21, 2019 - 03:05 am

Melvin Edmonds of GRAMMY-nominated late-80s R&B vocal group After 7, known for hits like "Ready Or Not," has died at the age of 65. 

His death was confirmed by After 7 group member Keith Mitchell via Facebook. The cause of death has not been officially released. Essence reports Edmonds died Saturday after battling a short illness. The singer had a stroke in 2011 among other health issues, according to CNN.  

"I will miss you; I love you, and Melvin, your legacy will live on through the music we created together!!" Mitchell said in the post.

Edmonds was the "soul" and "signature element" of the group, wrote Mitchell, which the two co-founded along with one of Edmonds' brothers Kevon. After 7 had three singles land on the Billboard Hot 100 in the '90s. The singles, "Can't Stop," "Ready Or Not" and "Heat Of The Moment" all hit the top 20. The group was nominated for Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal for "Can't Stop" at the 33rd GRAMMY Awards

Beyond a musician, Edmonds was a father of four and brother to five, including Kenny "Babyface," Marvin Jr., Michael, Kevon and Derek.

"Melvin's love for audiences and fans everywhere who supported our music is what drove him on stage and in life. He is and will be missed by my family, fans, and friends," Mitchell said. 

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Keith Wilder, Heatwave Lead Singer, Dies

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Keith Wilder, Heatwave Lead Singer, Dies

The GRAMMY-nominated "Boogie Nights" and "Always And Forever" singer dies at age 65

GRAMMYs/Nov 1, 2017 - 04:10 am

Keith Wilder, the lead singer of GRAMMY-nominated '70s R&B/funk hitmakers Heatwave, died Oct. 29 at the age of 65. Wilder's death was confirmed by the group's manager, Les Spaine, via Rolling Stone. No specific cause of death has been confirmed, although fellow Heatwave band member Billy Jones told Dayton.com that Wilder died in his sleep.

Wilder, who was born in Dayton, Ohio, formed Heatwave in 1975 in Germany with his brother, Johnnie Wilder Jr., who was serving in the Army. The duo subsequently enlisted songwriter/keyboardist Rod Temperton, drummer Ernest "Bilbo" Berger, bassist Mario Mantese, and guitarists Eric Johns and Roy Carter.

In 1976 the group released their debut album, the platinum-plus Too Hot To Handle, which peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard 200. The album spawned the hits "Boogie Nights" (No. 2) and "Always And Forever," both of which attained platinum status. Heatwave's sophomore LP, Central Heating, hit No. 10 on the strength of the Top 20 hit "The Groove Line." The group's third album, 1980's Hot Property, was certified gold.

Moving into a new decade, Heatwave released 1980's Candles and 1982's Current. By then, the group had lost Mantese, Wilder Jr. and Temperton, who at that point was emerging as a go-to songwriter for the likes of Michael Jackson, George Benson and Michael McDonald, among others.

Keith Wilder revamped Heatwave for 1988's The Fire, and kept the band alive as a touring entity into the '90s. While Wilder continued to tour in recent years, he was forced to retire from the road after suffering a stroke in 2015.

Wilder scored two nominations with Heatwave at the 20th GRAMMY Awards: Best Arrangement For Voices for "All You Do Is Dial" and Best R&B Vocal Performance By A Duo, Group Or Chorus for "Boogie Nights"

"Johnnie was a MONSTER singer whose harmony game is unmatched," said Questlove in an Instagram post. "No REAL singer worth their grain of salt NEVER denied his mastery."

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Mel Tillis, Legendary Country Singer/Songwriter, Dies

Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images

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Mel Tillis, Legendary Country Singer/Songwriter, Dies

Songwriter who wrote hits for Kenny Rogers, Tom Jones and Brenda Lee dies at age 85

GRAMMYs/Nov 20, 2017 - 08:59 pm

Mel Tillis, one of the more prolific singer/songwriters in country music history, died Nov. 19 following a battle with intestinal issues. He was 85 years old.

With a catalog of more than 1,000 songs, Tillis released more than 60 LPs over his six-decade-plus career. In the 1970s, Tillis hit a stride with a string of country chart smashes, including "Good Woman Blues," "Heart Healer" and "Coca Cola Cowboy." 

In addition to his successful solo career, Tillis wrote a variety of hits for artists such as Brenda Lee ("Emotions"), Webb Pierce ("I'm Tired"), Kenny Rogers ("Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town"), Charley Pride ("The Snakes Crawl At Night"), George Strait ("Thoughts Of A Fool"), Ricky Skaggs ("Honey, Open That Door"), and Tom Jones ("Detroit City"), among others.

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss recorded Tillis' "Stick With Me Baby" for their T Bone Burnett-produced Raising Sand, which won Album Of The Year at the 51st GRAMMY Awards.

In 2007 he was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame. Tillis was awarded a National Medal of Arts in 2011 by President Barack Obama.

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Lady Legends And Newcomers Join Mercury Rev On Bobbie Gentry Tribute Album

Bobbie Gentry

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Lady Legends And Newcomers Join Mercury Rev On Bobbie Gentry Tribute Album

Mercury Rev revisits Gentry's classic sophomore album with female guest vocalists who shine. Catch the album out Feb. 8

GRAMMYs/Nov 15, 2018 - 05:34 am

Indie band Mercury Rev have announced their next album, a tribute to Bobbie Gentry's The Delta Sweete Revisited, will be available on Feb. 8.

The album features an array of guest voices. Mercury Rev's incredible selection of guest vocalists on the tracks kicks off with Norah Jones performing "Okolona River Bottom Band." Others lending their voices to the effort are Phoebe Bridgers, Vashti Bunyan, Rachel Goswell, Marissa Nadler, Beth Orton, Lætitia Sadier, Hope Sandoval, Kaela Sinclair, Susanne Sundfør, Carice van Houten, and Lucinda Williams, whose rendition of "Ode To Billie Joe" was added to the original album's tracklist.

"Bobbie is iconic, original, eloquent and timeless," said singer Margo Price, whose guest vocals are featured on "Sermon." "She has remained a strong voice and an eternal spirit of the delta, wrapped in mystery, yet forever here."

The Delta Sweete was Gentry's 1968 follow up to her debut Ode To Billie Joe, for which she won three GRAMMYs at the 10th GRAMMY Awards.

For the full track list and additional details see Bella Union's announcement and Pitchfork. Mercury Rev recently concluded their 2018 U.S. tour and will be playing across Britain in Dec.

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