March 18, 1941 – January 19, 2006
Chris Tuthill of the management company Talent Source said Pickett had been plagued with health problems for the past year.
“He did his part. It was a great ride, a great trip, I loved him and I’m sure he was well-loved, and I just hope that he’s given his props,” Michael Wilson Pickett, the fourth of the singer’s six children, told Washington D.C.’s NBC news affiliate WRC-TV.
Pickett was known for his distinct, raspy vocals. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer got his start singing gospel music in church before moving to Detroit in his teen years. He became a member of the group the Falcons, which had a 1962 hit “I Found a Love” featuring Picket on lead vocals. The following year, Picket went solo.
Pickett’s “In the Midnight Hour” made the top 25 on the Billboard pop charts in 1965 and “Mustang Sally” did the same in ’66.
WE REMEMBER GENE MCFADDEN: Member of McFadden & Whitehead dies of cancer
1949 – January 27, 2006
Gene McFadden of the famous Philadelphia songwriting and performing duo McFadden & Whitehead has died after a battle with liver and lung cancer. He was diagnosed in October of 2004, according to his daughter Cassandra. McFadden, 56, died at his home in Philadelphia’s Mount Airy section around 3:45am Friday morning.
McFadden & Whitehead were best known for their classic smash “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now” which was released in 1979. The anthem rose to No. 1 on the R&B chart and No. 13 on the pop charts
McFadden’s partner, John Whitehead was fatally shot in May 2004 while he was working on a vehicle in the city’s West Oak Lane section.
McFadden & Whithead wrote and produced their hits for Philadelphia International Records, headed by Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff who shared their thoughts in a statement.
“Our sympathy and prayers go out to the family of Gene McFadden who joined forces with John Whitehead, teamed up with Philadelphia International Records and took the music industry by storm with “Ain’t No Stoppin Us Now.” That classic record has been repeatedly adopted as a theme song for numerous events, campaigns, initiatives and drives around the world since its release. May it continue to inspire, encourage and uplift as McFadden and Whitehead intended it to.
As the premier songwriters and producers within the Gamble-Huff music organization, McFadden and Whitehead were instrumental in creating The Sound of Philadelphia. They initially approached us as recording artists but as we did with most of our artists, we encouraged them to also become writers and producers. The result proved to be rewarding and profitable as the pair amassed tremendous success writing numerous songs for the label, including “Wake up Everybody” for Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes and “Backstabbers” for The O’Jays.
McFadden is survived by his wife, Barbara, 57, two sons and two daughters.