R.I.P. 70s star and James Brown "brother," Little Royal Torrence

(September 29, 2016) It was never clear whether the public claims by singer and bandleader Royal Torrence, aka “Little Royal,” that he was half brother of the legendary James Brown were true. The artists reportedly shared the same father and were as close as brothers throughout their adult lives. But one thing both singers undoubtedly shared was a vocal talent that drew music lovers to them. The legendary JB died in 2006 and we are sad to report that now Little Royal has died at age 81.

(September 29, 2016) It was never clear whether the public claims by singer and bandleader Royal Torrence, aka “Little Royal,” that he was half brother of the legendary James Brown were true. The artists reportedly shared the same father and were as close as brothers throughout their adult lives. But one thing both singers undoubtedly shared was a vocal talent that drew music lovers to them. The legendary JB died in 2006 and we are sad to report that now Little Royal has died at age 81.

Torrence had a following in soul music circles in the 1960s and 70s, and is often credited with discovering Teddy Pendergrass, who was a waiter at Edgehill’s Club in Atlantic City when Torrence held auditions for his band, The Swingmasters. Pendergrass won over the job as drummer, which gave him his first break touring. His work with the Swingmasters led to a future opportunity with Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, and his entry into stardom

Little Royal made waves in the 1970s with the hit “Jealousy,” and recorded for over a decade with several labels, including Carnival and Tri-Us, landing a number of regional hits. His band also backed many of the biggest stars of the world when they toured through his adopted home of Washington, DC.

Though he was never a huge charting star, Little Royal maintained a following, particularly in Europe and in the DC area, right up through the time of his death. 

Thanks to SoulTracker Colton for letting us know

 
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