George Duke dies at age 67

(August 6, 2013) George Duke, one of the true giants of popular music, has died in Los Angeles at age 67, a year after the death of Corine Duke, his wife of over four decades. Duke reportedly had been battling Lukemia.

(August 6, 2013) George Duke, one of the true giants of popular music, has died in Los Angeles at age 67, a year after the death of Corine Duke, his wife of over four decades. Duke reportedly had been battling Lukemia.

Duke stood as one of the true master keyboardists of the late 20th century. In a forty plus year career, Duke performed with everyone from Cannonball Adderley to Frank Zappa to Deniece Williams to Michael Jackson. Add to this his incredibly soulful singing voice, production work and ground-breaking arrangements on several Grammy-winning projects, and numerous film and TV scoring projects, and he amassed one of the most fascinating and rewarding careers in recorded music industry.  (read full biography)

In addition to being one of the true innovators in contemporary jazz, Duke was a leader in the soul music world. He produced almost everybody at one time or another. Even earlier this year he showed his mastery, producing Jeffrey Osborne's comeback album A Time For Love. And he also made more than 30 albums on his own, including last month's Dream Weaverwhich we have been proudly featuring on SoulTracks for several weeks. He scored major hits with songs like the funky "Reach For It" and the deliciously smooth "No Rhyme, No Reason," and topped the charts with his duet albums with Stanley Clarke.

In 2013, we've lost many great artists, and this one is a particularly huge blow. George Duke was as close to a Renaissance man of music as we knew, and the sheer volume of great music with which he played a part is nearly unmatched. May this one of a kind, legendary artist rest in peace.

 

Click here to listen to George's final album, DreamWeaver.

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