R.I.P. Starpoint lead singer, humanitarian George Phillips, Jr.

Photo courtesy of Raymond Barton

(March 1, 2021) He was the lead singer and keyboardist of one of the big R&B bands of the 80s, with his three brothers and a funky sound that was a hit on radio. And later in life he became an advocate for many of the neediest of society. Today we are sad to report the death of George Phillips, Jr. of the group Starpoint.

At its peak, Starpoint featured brothers George, Ernesto, Orlando and Greg Phillips along with Kayode Adeyemo and singer extraordinaire Renée Diggs. With a fully funky sound that fit right in with the 80s oeuvre, Starpoint broke out in 1980 with the single “I Just Wanna Dance With You,” and began a prolific string of 10 albums (virtually one per year) over the next decade.

(March 1, 2021) He was the lead singer and keyboardist of one of the big R&B bands of the 80s, with his three brothers and a funky sound that was a hit on radio. And later in life he became an advocate for many of the neediest of society. Today we are sad to report the death of George Phillips, Jr. of the group Starpoint.

At its peak, Starpoint featured brothers George, Ernesto, Orlando and Greg Phillips along with Kayode Adeyemo and singer extraordinaire Renée Diggs. With a fully funky sound that fit right in with the 80s oeuvre, Starpoint broke out in 1980 with the single “I Just Wanna Dance With You,” and began a prolific string of 10 albums (virtually one per year) over the next decade.

While never a major headlining act, Starpoint toured with the stars of the day, such as The O’Jays, The Isley Brothers, and Kool & The Gang and gathered for itself a loyal fanbase.

The group was a steady charter through its first half dozen discs, before breaking out with the across the board smash “Object of My Desire” in 1985, with production by hot mid-80s board man Keith Diamond. They followed with top 20 hits “What You Been Missing,” “He Wants My Body,” and “Say You Will,” before fading from the recording scene after 1990’s Have You Got What It Takes? album.

After leaving the group, George Phillips became a pillar of the community of Anne Arundel County, Maryland, where he worked with substance abuse patients as the program manager for Community Treatment Services. He became a light to a vulnerable population, and was awarded an honorary doctorate from the New York College of Health Professionals in 2014.

George Phillips, Jr. was an artist who certainly created two great acts of his life, one as a world class musician and another as a caring servant of those in society most in need of help and advocacy. He will be remembered fondly by both communities.

By Chris Rizik

 

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