George Duke Dead, Legendary Jazz Musician Passes Away at 67
Legendary R&B and jazz keyboardist George Duke passed away Monday (Aug. 5) after a battle with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, according to Concord Music Group publicist. Duke was 67.
“The outpouring of love and support that we have received from my father’s friends, fans and the entire music community has been overwhelming,” said his son, Rashid Duke, in a statement (via USA Today). “Thank you all for your concern, prayers and support.”
For over five decades, Duke has pushed the boundaries of R&B, funk and jazz by infusing the genres together into a cohesive musical sound.
A graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Duke has recorded over 40 albums and has worked and produced songs with a plethora of distinguished artists including Jill Scott, Deniece Williams, Smokey Robinson, Jefferey Osborne, Anita Baker, the Pointer Sisters, Quincy Jones, Natalie Cole and the late Michael Jackson, among many others.
Duke will most likely be remembered for his tender R&B hit single, ‘Sweet Baby,’ from his 1981 collaborative album with jazz bassist Stanley Clarke.
In addition, Duke’s songs have been sampled by several rap artists including Ice Cube (‘True to the Game’), Kid Rock (‘Wax the Booty’), Lil Jon (‘Play No Games’) and Kanye West (for Common‘s ‘Break My Heart’).
George Duke’s final album, ‘DreamWeaver,’ was released in July.
Music celebs took to Twitter to express their condolences for the late singer-keyboardist. Read their tweets below:
Rest in Peace to my brother and collaborator George Duke. A great musician, a greater friend.
— Quincy Jones (@QuincyDJones) August 6, 2013
George Duke – Starting Again. We Grew up on Duke. http://t.co/HOl01CgzmP
— ErykahBadoula (@fatbellybella) August 6, 2013
— Questlove Jenkins (@questlove) August 6, 2013
RIP George Duke. Funk, Jazz, MUSIC Legend… One of the GREATEST.
— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) August 6, 2013
Watch George Duke Perform ‘Sweet Baby’ (Live)
Listen to George Duke Song’s ‘Reach For It’
Watch George Duke Perform ‘Dukey Stick’