Five Stairsteps singer James Burke has died at 70 years of age from pneumonia.James’ brother and fellow band member Dennis Burke confirmed the news to Rolling Stone. His cause of death was unrelated to COVID-19 complications.Five Stairsteps had several…
Five Stairsteps singer James Burke has died at 70 years of age from pneumonia.
James' brother and fellow band member Dennis Burke confirmed the news to Rolling Stone. His cause of death was unrelated to COVID-19 complications.
Five Stairsteps had several hits in the mid-1960s including their well-known track 'O-o-h Child.' The song is listed as #402 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
The band was formed by Clarence Burke, Sr., and included his four sons Clarence Jr., James, Dennis and Keni, and daughter, Alohe.
Dennis recalls James being "very creative" as a talented singer, songwriter and guitarist.
"They really had a focus on the music that helped to bring us all together into the industry," he told the outlet.
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Five Stairsteps rose to international acclaim after the release of their first single, 'You Waited Too Long.' They consistently had records that were recognised in the R&B charts. But it was their 1970 song 'O-o-h Child' that earned them their biggest success.
The Chicago group became known as the "First Family of Soul" because of their remarkable five-year streak on the charts.
Artists like Nina Simone, Dusty Springfield, Kelly Rowland, Trey Anastasio and Paul Stanley have all covered the iconic pop-soul track.
The group scored multiple top 10 R&B hits in their time but ultimately broke up. A couple of years later they formed the Invisible Man's Band.
Once the Invisible Man's band disbanded, James became a painter. Every now and then, he'd get together with Dennis and play music.
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