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Top 5 R&B/Soul And Rap/Hip-hop Deaths In 2007
Written by Staff   
 While the list cannot compare to 2006's massive exit of talent (James Brown's body still hasn't been laid in its final resting place), 2007 saw the departure of a number of notable names in rap and R&B/soul music. Read on and pay your respects.

Pimp C - The death of the 33 year-old UGK hip-hop vet stunned the music world.  Chad "Pimp C" Butler's body was found in his room at Hollywood's Mondrian Hotel on on December 4. He was lying on his bed, fully clothed and died of natural causes.

Ike Turner - The coroner's report concerning the Dec. 12th death of Ike Turner says the 72 year-old died of an accidental cocaine overdose, according to the San Diego County Coroner. Ike, ex-husband to legendary Tina Turner was notorious for abusing drugs as well as his wife for years. Contrasting this "bad" was the good he contributed to the world music-wise.

Billy Henderson, an original member of the legendary group The Spinners died at age 67, from complications resulting from diabetes. The group was responsible for blessing the world with numerous classics including "Sadie," "How Could I Let You Get Away," "They Just Can't Stop It (Games People Play)," "I'll Be Around" "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love," "Then Came You" feat. Dionne Warwick, "Mighty Love" and "The Rubberband Man".

Joe Hunter was the pianist and bandleader of Motown's legendary The Funk Brothers and died Feb. 2 at the age of 79 from diabetes. After being "re-discovered" in the Detroit area playing for tips, Hunter (along with the other original band members) was featured in the award-winning documentary Shadows of Motown in 2002, which led to a revitalization of his touring career. He went on to work until his death.

Myrna "Peach" Brown (aka Screechy Peach) led the Atlanta funk-soul band Whild Peach with guitarist David Whild, and passed away from breast cancer on April 1 at the age of 47. She was a slept-on member of the Dungeon Family and collaborated on fellow members' albums including most of OutKast's albums, Killer Mike's Monster and Goodie Mob's Still Standing. Fellow singer Joi called her "the baddest fucking singer and performer that this planet has ever seen."

More 2007 Passings

LaLa Brown, 21, R&B singer, shot.

Big Moe, 33, rapper, heart attack

Bobby Byrd, 73, soul/funk singer, long-time friend and collaborator of James Brown, cancer

Alice Coltrane, 69, jazz musician and widow of John Coltrane, respiratory failure

Lucky Dube, 43, South Africa's most influential reggae musician, shot during carjacking

Ashley Titus, 36, South African rapper and TV presenter

Willie Tee, 63, singer/songwriter/producer

Jon Lucien, 65, smooth jazz singer/songwriter

Max Roach, 83, legendary jazz drummer

Clarence Tex Walker, 61, R&B musician, heart attack

Oliver Morgan, 74, R&B vocalist, heart attack

Bill Pinkney, 81, last original member of The Drifters, probable heart attack

Natasja Saad, 32, Danish rapper, car accident

Freddie Scott, 74, singer of "Hey Girl"

Tony Thompson, 31, lead vocalist of the R&B group Hi-Five, apparent drug overdose

J. Robert Bradley, 87, gospel singer, diabetes

Zola Taylor, 69, singer with The Platters from1954–1964, pneumonia

Haywood "Little Sonny" Warner , 77, blues singer who earned a gold record in 1959 with "“There’s Something on Your Mind

Walter Turnbull, 62, founder of the Boys Choir of Harlem

Luther Ingram, 69, R&B singer/songwriter ("(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want to Be Right")

Roger Bennett, 48, gospel pianist (The Cathedrals, Legacy Five)

Eric von Schmidt, 75, folk/blues singer-songwriter

David "Disco D" Shayman, 26, hip hop producer, suicide

Pookie Hudson, 72,  lead singer of The Spaniels

Jimmy Cheatham, 82,  jazz trombonist

Michael Brecker, 57,  jazz saxophonist

Virtue Hampton Whitted, 84, jazz musician, member of The Hampton Sisters

Joe Lane, 80, bebop jazz singer

Ronald Muldrow, 57, jazz guitarist

Leroy Jenkins, 74, composer and free jazz violinist

Dakota Staton, 76, jazz vocalist

Sekou Sundiata, 58, poet, musician and performance artist, heart failure

Tsang Tsou Choi, 85, Hong Kong-based graffiti artist whose works were included in the 2003 Venice Biennale

Mamadou Konte, 65, Senegalese music producer, founder of the Africa Fete music festival and record label

George Melly, 80, British jazz and blues musician

Hank Medress, 68, singer (The Tokens), producer of The Chiffons and Tony Orlando and Dawn

Buddy Childers, 81, jazz trumpeter

Alvin Batiste, 74, jazz musician

Carey Bell, 70, blues harmonica player

Tito Gómez, 59, Puerto Rican salsa singer, former member of Ray Barretto and Sonora Ponceña bands

Other notable 2007 deaths

Russell Ellington, 69, American basketball coach for the Harlem Globetrotters

Robert "Evel" Knievel, Jr., 69, stunt performer

Ousmane Sembène, 84, Senegalese film director, producer and writer

Larry Hamlin, 58, theater producer, founder of the National Black Theater Festival

Sal Mosca, 80, jazz pianist and educator

Uncle John Turner, 62, blues drummer

Art Davis, 73, jazz double-bassist


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