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Thursday, June 22, 2006

News About: Stevie Wonder, Billy Preston, Richard Pryor and more

GIRL6 in the house with an entertainment news report...

I don’t want the month to end with out acknowledging some folks who were major contributors to our culture and the world...
    The mother of Stevie Wonder..Ms Ida Morris passed away during this month. She was a collaborator with her talented son the the song "I was Made to Love Her". We extend our deepest and most sincere sympathy to her family. We are grateful for her. She nurtured one this generation’s most prolific songwriters.
    "You Are So Beautiful", "Nothin’ From Nothin’", "Will It Go ‘Round in Circles?" are just a few of the creations of the late Billy Preston. Known as the “Fifth Beatle” because he performed with that group on it’s final album, and also known as the son of the late actress, Ernestine Wade who portrayed the character Sapphire Stevens in one of the first American television programs to feature blacks as major characters, "Amos’n’Andy" ,. Billy Preston, like so many musicians, was a composer as well as a performer. He has worked with many musical star performers. He will be missed.
    Singer Johnny Wilder, Jr. of Heatwave has died. Wilder was 56-years old, and he sang lead on many of the Heatwave classics like “Always and Forever,” “Star of the Story,” “Grooveline” and “Mind Blowing Decisions,” to name a few. In 1979, Wilder was injured in an accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down.
    The husband of the late songwriter Linda Creed has also died. Stephen Epstein, a.k.a. "Eppy", passed away this month. "Eppy" was a music promoter, and he was working on a movie about his late wife. Linda Creed died 20 years ago from breast cancer. She wrote the George Benson classic "The Greatest Love of All",” and teamed with Thom Bell to write many classic Sound of Philadelphia songs including "The Rubberband Man", "You Make Me Feel Brand New", "‘Betcha By Golly Wow", "I Don’t Want To Lose You," and "Old Friend".
    Sad news about another entertainer who died last December.. The fight is on for the estate of Richard Pryor. The comic legend passed away last year, and his daughter Elizabeth wants her fair share. Elizabeth claims her dad’s wife, Jennifer mentally abused him. Elizabeth wants Jennifer removed as trustee of The Pryor Estate citing elder abuse. She says Jennifer isolated her dad from his family causing depression. Richard Pryor had Multiple Sclorosis. (Mud Bone, I miss you man. But you always with me, always. Thanks for all the laughs man. Laughed so much, I cried*.)

    *For Richard: Thank you so much for helping a Girl out of shyness. Your LP’s allowed me to open doors to people at a time I needed to open up and extend me. Made all the difference. Made me some friends, friends and memories I have to this day. I’ve missed your presence a long time but you will always be here. You were too big for the world Richard. No one can ever replace you and no one will. Love you and miss you forever. We won’t forget ole Jo-Jo. Never. Be easy. R.I.P.
    Oscar Winner Louis Gossett, Jr. is a cancer survivor. The legendary actor recently overcame a bout with kidney cancer.

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