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Grammy-winning soul singer Betty Wright dead at 66

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Betty Wright, a Grammy-winning soul singer and songwriter known for influential hits such as “Clean Up Woman” and “Where is the Love,” died at age 66 at her home in Miami on Sunday.

Steve Greenberg of S-Curve Records told the New York Times Wright had been diagnosed with cancer in the fall.

Wright had her breakthrough with 1971’s “Clean Up Woman,” which combined elements of funk, soul and R&B.

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Andre Harrell, Executive Who Bridged Hip-Hop and R&B, Passes away at 59

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He founded the influential label Uptown Records and gave a first break to Sean Combs, who would go on to become one of hip-hop’s signature moguls.

Andre Harrell, an innovative music executive who in the late 1980s founded Uptown Records, a crucial bridge between the worlds of hip-hop and R&B, and who gave the first career break to Sean Combs, who became one of hip-hop’s signature moguls and global ambassadors, died late Thursday night at his home in West Hollywood, Calif. He was 59.

His ex-wife, Wendy Credle, said that the cause was heart failure and that Mr. Harrell had had heart problems for some time.

In the early to mid-1980s, hip-hop was growing prodigiously, and Mr. Harrell was at the center of the genre as a rapper and an executive. But his vision for the music wasn’t always in line with his peers’ — he preferred a splash of sophistication and an approach that would speak to older and younger generations alike.

When he founded Uptown Records in 1986, he created a home for artists who melded hip-hop swagger with traditional R&B smoothness, who had sleek surfaces and hard edges. For almost a decade, it was one of the most musically important and financially successful record labels in the country, building the careers of Mary J. Blige, Jodeci, Al B. Sure!, Guy and many more.

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Little Richard, passes away @ 87

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(CNN)Little Richard, the screaming, preening, scene-stealing wild man of early rock ‘n’ roll with hits like “Tutti Frutti” and “Long Tall Sally,” died Saturday at 87, Dick Alen, his former agent, confirmed to CNN.Alen said Little Richard died in Nashville with his brother and son by his side. Alen tells CNN the cause of death is related to bone cancer.

He called the star “one of the legends, the originators” and said Little Richard had “been ill for a good while.”Little Richard Fast FactsBorn Richard Penniman in Georgia in 1932, the rock pioneer would have stood out in any era, but in the 1950s, when he came to prominence, he was like no other: a flamboyant, makeup-wearing, piano-playing black man who personified the “devil’s music” to establishment guardians.

Elvis Presley was one thing, but for all his pelvic thrusts and slicked-back, juvenile-delinquent hair, he was at heart a polite Southern boy who loved his daddy. Little Richard, though … well, he may have come from a big Southern family himself, but he represented something else.”Richard opened the door. He brought the races together,” said arranger H.B. Barnum in Charles White’s 1984 biography “The Life and Times of Little Richard.”

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