“It Comes in Threes” is a phrase you’ll hear, usually by way, of unfortunate circumstances.  Nothing could have prepared me for the recent tragic events that I’ve experienced.  Two people that I had the fortune to work with, and one that I have been inspired by, passed on within three days of each other.

On April 14th, the legendary Percy Sledge passed at the age of 74.  Famous for his hit song “When A Man Loves A Woman,” I’ve always been moved by his delivery, whenever I hear it.  Although he’s essentially noted for that one song, it’s one of the most powerful performances ever, in the genre of R&B.  The father of the women, that make up the group Sister Sledge, their music was produced by Nile Rodgers.  I spoke to Rodgers and the group about those sessions, I danced to the music at numerous clubs and parties, the Sledge legacy is part of the soundtrack to my life.

On April 15th, Kyle Norman “K2” Stewart II, departed at the age of 27.  A young man I had the fortune to work with, he died due to complications from blood clots in his legs, that blocked the flow of blood to his heart.  It’s not certain if it was a form of Atheroscierosis or Venous Thrombosis.  A Three-Time Grammy nominee, he was a producer on the rise, whose music was performed by Fantasia, Tamar Braxton and Trey Songz among others.  Recently, he was getting press as an artist, for his track “Love Beyonce.”  He and I had man-to-man conversations about music, love and life.

On April 16th, Johnny Kemp was found dead in Montego Bay, he was 55.  Born in the Bahamas, he was best known for his 1988 hit, “Just Got Paid.”  “Just Got Paid” was a song that hit the airwaves, during my tenure at WBLS radio, in New York City.  After years of working in radio, television and film, I produced a series of commercials for SAAS Hot Sauce.  Kemp was featured in one of them.  https://www.facebook.com/SAASHotSauce/videos/vb.286923058090625/10151284068832458/?type=2&theater  At the wrap party for the first of three spots, he and I laughed together for most of the night like old friends, a very fond memory.  Working with him at the on-set of a career in entertainment, and then again at a peak moment amidst my media endeavors, brought years of work and accomplishments full circle for me.

Three men who touched my life, that I had a direct or no more than a third party connection with, are physically gone.  Their music will live on, but they’re no longer here — there’s still moments it’s hard to believe, I am truly blessed to have experienced their presence.

(click on photo for full view)

Percy Sledge, Kyle "K2" Stewart, Johnny Kemp

love, life and music


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