LOVE ZONE

Honors

George Michael

June 25, 1963 - December 25, 2016

 

Born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, George Michael was an English singer, songwriter, and record producer who rose to fame as a member of the music duo Wham! He was best known in the 1980s and 1990s with his style of post-disco dance-pop, with best-selling songs such as Last Christmas and Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.

Michael sold more than 100 million records worldwide. His 1987 debut solo album, Faith, sold more than 20 million copies worldwide. Michael garnered seven number one singles in the UK and eight number one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, including Careless Whisper and Freedom! '90. He ranks among the best-selling British acts of all time, with Billboard magazine ranking him the 40th-most successful artist ever. Michael won various music awards throughout his 30-year career, including three Brit Awards—winning Best British Male twice, four MTV Video Music Awards, four Ivor Novello Awards, three American Music Awards, and two Grammy Awards from eight nominations. Michael, who was gay, was an active LGBT rights campaigner and HIV/AIDS charity fundraiser.

 

Alan Thicke

March 1, 1947 - December 13, 2016

Born in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Alan Willis Thicke was a Canadian actor, songwriter, and game and talk show host. He was best known for his role as Jason Seaver, the father on the ABC television series Growing Pains, which ran for seven seasons. Thicke had a successful career as a TV theme song composer, often collaborating with his then-wife Gloria Loring on these projects, which included the themes to the popular sitcoms Diff'rent Strokes and The Facts of Life. He was the father of singer Robin Thicke. In 2013, Thicke was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame. 

 

Thomas "Tommy" Mikal Ford

June 15, 1962 - October 12, 2016

Thomas Mikal Ford, known and also credited as Tommy Ford, was an American actor who was best known for his role as Tommy Strawn in the sitcom Martin, and for his recurring role as Mel Parker in the UPN sitcom The Parkers.  In Martin, Ford played Tommy Strawn who was, at times, the straight man for Martin Lawrence's jokes, but he very often inserted scene-stealing "bald-headed logic" and witty comments in odd situations. Also, his character was often the subject of many jokes regarding his mysterious employment status though Tisha Campbell-Martin revealed he was a counselor and presumably unemployed after Ford complained that his character lacked development. Ford received an NAACP Image Awards nomination in 1996 in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.

After Martin ended, Ford found success in the FOX detective drama New York Undercover. He played the role of Lieutenant Malcolm Barker. Ford played a recurring role in the UPN sitcom The Parkers as Nikki's ex-husband and Kim's father, Mel Parker, in 7 episodes. He played Ben Cummings in The Power of Passion as one of the characters whose wife cheats on him with the pastor. He was also known as The Pope of Comedy, due to exposure as a judge on TV One's comedy competition show Bill Bellamy's Who's Got Jokes? In film, Ford appeared in the Kid 'n Play movie Class Act as Mink. In Harlem Nights he played Tommy Smalls, the brother of Arsenio Hall's character. He can also be seen in the 1997 crime drama Against the Law.

 

Kashif

December 26, 1959 - September 25, 2016

Born Michael Jones, Kashif Saleem was an American multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, record producer, artist, composer, author, director and educator from New York City. Kashif first taught himself to play a $3 song flute at age seven and later the piano in the basement of his church. At age 15, Kashif joined B. T. Express and performed on stages around the world. He studied Islam and changed his name from Michael Jones to Kashif, which means discoverer and inventor. He crafted his own distinctive sound and later signed with Arista Records enjoying success as a solo artist.

Together with Stevie Wonder he was considered a pioneer in urban music thanks to his specific synthesizer technology approach and the introduction of MIDI in his production.

 

 

Gene Wilder

June 11, 1933 - August 29, 2016

Born Jerome Silberman, Gene Wilder was an American comic actor in film and theater, screenwriter, film director, and author. Wilder began his career on stage, and made his screen debut in an episode of the TV series The Play of the Week in 1961. Although his first film role was portraying a hostage in the 1967 motion picture Bonnie and Clyde, Wilder's first major role was as Leopold Bloom in the 1968 film The Producers for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. This was the first in a series of collaborations with writer/director Mel Brooks, including 1974's  Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein, which Wilder co-wrote, garnering the pair an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. Wilder is known for his portrayal of Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) and for his four films with Richard Pryor: Silver Streak (1976), Stir Crazy (1980), See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989), and Another You (1991). Wilder directed and wrote several of his own films, including The Woman in Red (1984).

 

His third wife was actress Gilda Radner, with whom he starred in three films, the last two of which he also directed. Her 1989 death from ovarian cancer led to his active involvement in promoting cancer awareness and treatment, helping found the Gilda Radner Ovarian Cancer Detection Center in Los Angeles and co-founding Gilda's Club. After his last contribution to acting in 2003 – a guest role on Will & Grace for which he received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor – Wilder turned his attention to writing. He produced a memoir in 2005, Kiss Me Like a Stranger: My Search for Love and Art; a collection of stories, What Is This Thing Called Love? (2010); and the novels My French Whore (2007), The Woman Who Wouldn't (2008) and Something to Remember You By (2013).

 

Natalie Maria Cole (February 6, 1950 – December 31, 2015) was an American singer-songwriter, and actress. The daughter of Nat King Cole, she rose to musical success in the mid-1970s as an R&B artist with the hits "This Will Be", "Inseparable", and "Our Love". After a period of failing sales and performances due to a heavy drug addiction, Cole re-emerged as a pop artist with the 1987 album Everlasting and her cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Pink Cadillac". In the 1990s, she re-recorded standards by her father, resulting in her biggest success, Unforgettable... with Love, which sold over seven million copies and also won Cole numerous Grammy Awards. She sold over 30 million records worldwide. Natalie Maria Cole (February 6, 1950 – December 31, 2015) was an American singer-songwriter, and actress. The daughter of Nat King Cole, she rose to musical success in the mid-1970s as an R&B artist with the hits "This Will Be", "Inseparable", and "Our Love". After a period of failing sales and performances due to a heavy drug addiction, Cole re-emerged as a pop artist with the 1987 album Everlasting and her cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Pink Cadillac". In the 1990s, she re-recorded standards by her father, resulting in her biggest success, Unforgettable... with Love, which sold over seven million copies and also won Cole numerous Grammy Awards. She sold over 30 million records worldwide. Natalie Maria Cole (February 6, 1950 – December 31, 2015) was an American singer-songwriter, and actress. The daughter of Nat King Cole, she rose to musical success in the mid-1970s as an R&B artist with the hits "This Will Be", "Inseparable", and "Our Love". After a period of failing sales and performances due to a heavy drug addiction, Cole re-emerged as a pop artist with the 1987 album Everlasting and her cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Pink Cadillac". In the 1990s, she re-recorded standards by her father, resulting in her biggest success, Unforgettable... with Love, which sold over seven million copies and also won Cole numerous Grammy Awards. She sold over 30 million records worldwide. Natalie Maria Cole (February 6, 1950 – December 31, 2015) was an American singer-songwriter, and actress. The daughter of Nat King Cole, she rose to musical success in the mid-1970s as an R&B artist with the hits "This Will Be", "Inseparable", and "Our Love". After a period of failing sales and performances due to a heavy drug addiction, Cole re-emerged as a pop artist with the 1987 album Everlasting and her cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Pink Cadillac". In the 1990s, she re-recorded standards by her father, resulting in her biggest success, Unforgettable... with Love, which sold over seven million copies and also won Cole numerous Grammy Awards. She sold over 30 million records worldwide.  Natalie Maria Cole (February 6, 1950 – December 31, 2015) was an American singer-songwriter, and actress. The daughter of Nat King Cole, she rose to musical success in the mid-1970s as an R&B artist with the hits "This Will Be", "Inseparable", and "Our Love". After a period of failing sales and performances due to a heavy drug addiction, Cole re-emerged as a pop artist with the 1987 album Everlasting and her cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Pink Cadillac". In the 1990s, she re-recorded standards by her father, resulting in her biggest success, Unforgettable... with Love, which sold over seven million copies and also won Cole numerous Grammy Awards. She sold over 30 million records worldwidNatalie Maria Cole (February 6, 1950 – December 31, 2015) was an American singer-songwriter, and actress. The daughter of Nat King Cole, she rose to musical success in the mid-1970s as an R&B artist with the hits "This Will Be", "Inseparable", and "Our Love". After a period of failing sales and performances due to a heavy drug addiction, Cole re-emerged as a pop artist with the 1987 album Everlasting and her cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Pink Cadillac". In the 1990s, she re-recorded standards by her father, resulting in her biggest success, Unforgettable... with Love, which sold over seven million copies and also won Cole numerous Grammy Awards. She sold over 30 million records worldwid

Paul Williams (December 1, 1934 – April 24, 2016[1]), known professionally as Billy Paul, was a Grammy Award-winning American soul singer, known for his 1972 #1 single, "Me and Mrs. Jones", as well as the 1973 album and single "War of the Gods" which blends his more conventional pop, soul, and funk styles with electronic and psychedelic infl

Muhammad A

January 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016

Born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr., Muhammad Ali was an American professional boxer, generally regarded as the most significant heavyweight in the history of the sport. Early in his career, Ali was known for being an inspiring, controversial and polarizing figure both inside and outside the boxing ring. He is one of the most recognized sports figures of the past 100 years, crowned "Sportsman of the Century" by Sports Illustrated and "Sports Personality of the Century" by the BBC. He also wrote several best-selling books about his career, including The Greatest: My Own Story and The Soul of a Butterfly

Ali, as Clay, began training at 12 years old. At the age of 22, he won the world heavyweight championship from Sonny Liston in a stunning upset in 1964. Shortly after that, Ali joined the Nation of Islam and changed his name. He converted to Sunni Islam in 1975, and then embraced the teachings of Sufism in 2005. Ali retired from boxing permanently in 19

In 1967, three years after winning the heavyweight title, Ali refused to be conscripted into the U.S. military, citing his religious beliefs and opposition to American involvement in the Vietnam War. He was eventually arrested and found guilty on draft evasion charges and stripped of his boxing title. He did not fight again for nearly four years—losing a time of peak performance in an athlete's career. Ali's appeal worked its way up to the Supreme Court of the United States where, in 1971, his conviction was overturned. Ali's actions as a conscientious objector to the war made him an icon for the larger counterculture generatio

Ali remains the only three-time lineal world heavyweight champion; he won the title in 1964, 1974, and 1978. Between February 25, 1964 and September 19, 1964 Ali reigned as the undisputed heavyweight boxing champion. Nicknamed "The Greatest", he was involved in several historic boxing matches. Notable among these were the first Liston fight, three with rival Joe Frazier, and "The Rumble in the Jungle" with George Foreman, in which he regained titles he had been stripped of seven years earlie

At a time when most fighters let their managers do the talking, Ali, inspired by professional wrestler "Gorgeous" George Wagner, thrived in—and indeed craved—the spotlight, where he was often provocative and outlandish. He controlled most press conferences and interviews, and spoke freely about issues unrelated to boxing. Ali transformed the role and image of the African American athlete in America by his embrace of racial pride and his willingness to antagonize the white establishment in doing so. In the words of writer Joyce Carol Oates, he was one of the few athletes in any sport to "define the terms of his public reputatioMuhammad Ali

January 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016

Born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr., Ali was an American professional boxer, generally regarded as the most significant heavyweight in the history of the sport. Early in his career, Ali was known for being an inspiring, controversial and polarizing figure both inside and outside the boxing ring. He is one of the most recognized sports figures of the past 100 years, crowned "Sportsman of the Century" by Sports Illustrated and "Sports Personality of the Century" by the BBC. He also wrote several best-selling books about his career, including The Greatest: My Own Story and The Soul of a Butterfly.

Ali ,as Clay, began training at 12 years old. At the age of 22, he won the world heavyweight championship from Sonny Liston in a stunning upset in 1964. Shortly after that, Ali joined the Nation of Islam and changed his name. He converted to Sunni Islam in 1975, and then embraced the teachings of Sufism in 2005. Ali retired from boxing permanently in 1981.

In 1967, three years after winning the heavyweight title, Ali refused to be conscripted into the U.S. military, citing his religious beliefs and opposition to American involvement in the Vietnam War. He was eventually arrested and found guilty on draft evasion charges and stripped of his boxing title. He did not fight again for nearly four years—losing a time of peak performance in an athlete's career. Ali's appeal worked its way up to the Supreme Court of the United States where, in 1971, his conviction was overturned. Ali's actions as a conscientious objector to the war made him an icon for the larger counterculture generation.

Ali remains the only three-time lineal world heavyweight champion; he won the title in 1964, 1974, and 1978. Between February 25, 1964 and September 19, 1964 Ali reigned as the undisputed heavyweight boxing champion. Nicknamed "The Greatest", he was involved in several historic boxing matches. Notable among these were the first Liston fight, three with rival Joe Frazier, and "The Rumble in the Jungle" with George Foreman, in which he regained titles he had been stripped of seven years earlier.

At a time when most fighters let their managers do the talking, Ali, inspired by professional wrestler "Gorgeous" George Wagner, thrived in—and indeed craved—the spotlight, where he was often provocative and outlandish.He controlled most press conferences and interviews, and spoke freely about issues unrelated to boxing. Ali transformed the role and image of the African American athlete in America by his embrace of racial pride and his willingness to antagonize the white establishment in doing so. In the words of writer Joyce Carol Oates, he was one of the few athletes in any sport to "define the terms of his public reputation". 

Paul Williams (December 1, 1934 – April 24, 2016[1]), known professionally as Billy Paul, was a Grammy Award-winning American soul singer, known for his 1972 #1 single, "Me and Mrs. Jones", as well as the 1973 album and single "War of the Gods" which blends his more conventional pop, soul, and funk styles with electronic and psychedelic influe

He was one of the many artists associated with the Philadelphia soul sound created by Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff, and Thom Bell. Paul was identified by his diverse vocal style which ranged from mellow and soulful to low and raspy. Questlove of the Roots equated Paul to Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, calling him "one of the criminally unmentioned proprietors of socially conscious post-revolution '60s civil rig

 

Billy Paul

December 1, 1934 – April 24, 2016

Born Paul Williams, Billy Paul was a Grammy Award-winning American soul singer, known for his 1972 #1 single, "Me and Mrs. Jones", as well as the 1973 album and single "War of the Gods" which blends his more conventional pop, soul, and funk styles with electronic and psychedelic influences. He was one of the many artists associated with the Philadelphia soul sound created by Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff, and Thom Bell. Paul was identified by his diverse vocal style which ranged from mellow and soulful to low and raspy. Questlove of the Roots equated Paul to Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, calling him "one of the criminally unmentioned proprietors of socially conscious post-revolution '60s civil rights music."

He was one of the many artists associated with the Philadelphia soul sound created by Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff, and Thom Bell. Paul was identified by his diverse vocal style which ranged from mellow and soulful to low and raspy. Questlove of the Roots equated Paul to Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, calling him "one of the criminally unmentioned proprietors of socially conscious post-revolution '60s civil righ

Prince

 June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016

Prince Rogers Nelson was an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and actor. Prince was renowned as an innovator, and was widely known for his eclectic work, flamboyant stage presence, and wide vocal range. He was widely regarded as the pioneer of Minneapolis sound. His music integrates a wide variety of styles, including funk, rock, R&B, soul, hip hop, disco, psychedelia, jazz, and pop.

Prince was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and developed an interest in music at an early age, writing his first song at age seven. After recording songs with his cousin's band 94 East, 19-year-old Prince recorded several unsuccessful demo tapes before releasing his debut album For You in 1978, under the guidance of manager Owen Husney. His 1979 album Prince went platinum due to the success of the singles "Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?" and "I Wanna Be Your Lover". His next three records—Dirty Mind (1980), Controversy (1981), and 1999 (1982)—continued his success, showcasing Prince's trademark of prominently sexual lyrics and incorporation of elements of funk, dance, and rock music. In 1984, he began referring to his backup band as The Revolution and released Purple Rain, which served as the soundtrack to his film debut of the same name. A prolific songwriter, Prince in the 1980s wrote songs for and produced work by many other acts, often under pseudonyms.

After releasing the albums Around the World in a Day (1985) and Parade (1986), The Revolution disbanded and Prince released the critically acclaimed double album Sign o' the Times (1987) as a solo artist. He released three more solo albums before debuting The New Power Generation band in 1991. He changed his stage name in 1993 to an unpronounceable symbol Prince logo.svg, also known as the "Love Symbol". He then began releasing new albums at a faster pace to remove himself from contractual obligations to Warner Bros.; he released five records between 1994 and 1996 before signing with Arista Records in 1998. In 2000, he began referring to himself as "Prince" again. He released 15 albums after that; his final album, HITnRUN Phase Two, was first released exclusively on the Tidal streaming service on December 11, 2015.

Prince sold over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time. He won seven Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and an Academy Award. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, the first year of his eligibility. Rolling Stone ranked Prince at number 27 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. 

 

Vanity

January 4, 1959 – February 15, 2016

Vanity, born as Denise Katrina Matthews was a Canadian singer, songwriter, dancer, actress and model, who turned away from her music and acting career to concentrate on evangelism. Her career lasted from the early–1980s until the mid–1990s. She was the lead singer of the female trio Vanity 6 from 1981 until it disbanded in 1983. They are known for their 1982 R&B/funk hit "Nasty Girl". Vanity's music career also included two solo albums on the Motown Records label, Wild Animal and Skin on Skin, as well as the hit singles "Pretty Mess", "Mechanical Emotion", Undress from the movie Action Jackson, and "Under the Influence". She also had a successful film career, starring in the movies The Last Dragon, 52 Pick-Up, and Action Jackson. Throughout the 1980s to the 1990s, Vanity appeared in many magazines around the world. 

 

Maurice White

December 19, 1941 – February 3, 2016

Maurice White was an American singer-songwriter, musician, record producer, arranger and bandleader. He was the founder of the band Earth, Wind & Fire. He was also the older brother of current Earth, Wind & Fire member Verdine White, and former member Fred White. He served as the band's main songwriter and record producer, and was co-lead singer along with Philip Bailey. He won seven Grammys, and was nominated for a total of twenty Grammys. White was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame as a member of Earth, Wind & Fire, and was also inducted individually into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Also known by his nickname "Reese", he worked with several famous recording artists, including Deniece Williams, the Emotions, Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond. White was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in the late 1980s, which led him eventually to stop touring with Earth, Wind & Fire in 1994. He retained executive control of the band, and remained active in the music business. 

 

David Bowie

January 8, 1947 – January 10 2016

David Bowie, born as David Robert Jones was an English singer, songwriter, actor and record producer. He was a figure in popular music for over five decades, considered by critics and musicians as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s. His career was marked by reinvention and visual presentation, his music and stagecraft significantly influencing popular music. During his lifetime, his record sales, estimated at 140 million worldwide, made him one of the world's best-selling music artists. In the UK, he was awarded nine platinum album certifications, eleven gold and eight silver, releasing eleven number-one albums. In the US, he received five platinum and seven gold certifications. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. 

 

Natalie Cole

February 6, 1950 – December 31, 2015

Natalie Maria Cole was an American singer-songwriter, and actress. The daughter of Nat King Cole, she rose to musical success in the mid-1970s as an R&B artist with the hits "This Will Be", "Inseparable", and "Our Love". After a period of failing sales and performances due to a heavy drug addiction, Cole re-emerged as a pop artist with the 1987 album Everlasting and her cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Pink Cadillac". In the 1990s, she re-recorded standards by her father, resulting in her biggest success, Unforgettable... with Love, which sold over seven million copies and also won Cole numerous Grammy Awards. She sold over 30 million records worldwide. 

 

In Memory

Herbert "The Blues Man" Reese

October 26, 1936 - November 27,2015

Herbert Reese, known to many J100 listeners as the Blues Man, passed away on November 27, 2015 at the age of 79 after a brief illness. Those who knew Herb knew that he was a man of many talents. His love of being on radio never waned and many years ago, he resumed his hobby again on WDNC and WTIK in Durham, NC. He also developed a hobby of making music by teaching himself to play the piano. Herb loved gospel, blues and jazz music and one of his favorite musicians was B.B. King. Before becoming ill, Herb had released a CD entitled "Georgia Bounce" named after his home state of Georgia. We here at J100 will never forget Herb's talent behind the mic, his knowledge and love for music, and his passion for radio broadcasting. Rest Peacefully Blues Man.