2010’s Losses Were Heaven’s Gains!

Perhaps it’s an age thing, but we are seemingly losing more legends with each passing day … and, it hurts! The hurt is like a sharp kick to the gut; painful and exhaustive.

There is a strong possibility that you either may not have ever met the deceased entertainer, or might have only shared a chance encounter, resulting in posing for a photo, securing an autograph or shaking hands.  Regardless of how brief the encounter may have been, their presence in whatever form throughout the years in our lives, led us to  feel connected to them.

2010 saw the passing of many significant entertainers, most recently, singer Teena Marie. There is an ongoing outpouring of love all around the internet for Teena Marie. My hope is that the magnitude of respect and adoration serves as a flicker of comfort for her daughter.

In no particular order, here are some of the losses that heaven gained this year:

Musician, Teena Marie

Teena Marie [Mary Christine Brockert] (March 5, 1956 – December 26, 2010), her sudden death has stunned the music world, and beyond.


Civil rights leader Dr. Benjamin Hooks

Benjamin L. Hooks, a civil rights leader who was also a lawyer and an ordained Baptist minister who joined the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and led the NAACP for 15 years.


Actress/Singer/Activist Lena Horne

Lena Mary Calhoun Horne (June 30, 1917 – May 9, 2010) was a singer, actress, civil rights activist, dancer — whose breathtaking beauty made her the object of many mens’ desires.


Singer/Songwriter Teddy Pendergrass

Theodore “Teddy” Pendergrass (March 26, 1950 – January 13, 2010) was an R&B/soul singer and songwriter, who first rose to fame as lead singer of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, and later launched a successful solo career.


Rapper Guru

Keith Edward Elam aka GURU (Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal)(July 17, 1961 – April 19, 2010), was an emcee and member of the hip-hop duo Gang Starr, along with DJ Premier.


NBA Player, Manute Bol

Manute Bol (October 16, 1962 – June 19, 2010) played on several NBA teams in the 80s & 90s and was also an activist who contributed to several causes in Sudan.


Dick Griffey, Founder of SOLAR Records

Richard Gilbert “Dick” Griffey (November 16, 1938 – September 24, 2010) was an American record producer and promoter who founded SOLAR Records (Sound of Los Angeles Records). SOLAR Records was once home to artists like Shalamar, The Whispers, Lakeside, LA Reid and Babyface.


Musician, James Moody

Musician, James Moody (March 26, 1925 – December 9, 2010) was best known for his hit Moody’s Mood for Love.


Margaret Taylor-Burroughs

Margaret Taylor-Burroughs (November 11, 1917 – November 21, 2010) was a prominent African American artist and writer and a co-founder of the DuSable Museum of African American History.


NBA Player, Quintin Dailey

Quintin “Q” Dailey (January 22, 1961 – November 8, 2010) was a professional basketball player who spent 10 years in the NBA, playing for the Chicago Bulls, LA Clippers and Seattle SuperSonics.


Musician, Gregory Isaacs

Gregory Anthony Isaacs (15 July 1951 – 25 October 2010) was a Jamaican reggae artist whose hit, Night Nurse is one of the most popular reggae songs in history. (thanks KH!).


Solomon Burke, King of Rock and Soul

Solomon Burke (March 21, 1940 – October 10, 2010) was a singer, songwriter and mortician.  He was also the archbishop of the United House of Prayer For All People (and the father of 21, grandfather of 90).


Singer, Albertina Walker

Albertina Walker (August 29, 1929 – October 8, 2010) was proclaimed ‘The Queen of Gospel Music’ and sang with Mahalia Jackson as a teenager.  She formed the group, The Caravans which included members like Shirley Caesar, James Cleveland and Dorothy Norwood, to name a few.


News Correspondent, Harold Dow

Harold Dow (September 28, 1947 – August 21, 2010) was a journalist and news correspondent who worked for CBS News as an investigative reporter.


Musician, Robert Wilson

Robert Wilson (December 21, 1956 – August 15, 2010) was one third of the group of Wilson Brothers, best known as The Gap Band.  He was known as the Godfather of Bass Guitar.


Singer, Walter Hawkins

Walter Hawkins (May 18, 1949 – July 11, 2010) was an renowned gospel singer and pastor.


Musician, Garry Shider

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Garry Shider (July 24, 1953 – June 16, 2010) was a guitarist, who was the musical director of the P-Funk All-Stars.


Musician, Marvin Isley

Marvin Isley (August 18, 1953 – June 6, 2010), the youngest member of the family music group was a bass guitarist.


Singer, Ali-Ollie Woodson

Ali-Ollie Woodson (September 12, 1951 – May 30, 2010) , sang lead with the Temptations in the late 80s through the 90s, had a solo career and appeared in a few movies, television shows and stage plays.


Activist/Historian, Dorothy Height

Dorothy Irene Height (March 24, 1912 – April 20, 2010) was the president of the National Council of Negro Women for more than 40 years, as well as a civil rights activist.  Dr. Height spoke out during the civil rights movement, alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. about the injustices against African Americans.


Singer, Ron Banks

Ron Banks (May 10, 1951 – March 4, 2010), founder of the group, The Dramatics.


Actor, Gary Coleman

Gary Coleman (February 8, 1968 – May 28, 2010)


~ by theinnersoul10 on December 29, 2010.

18 Responses to “2010’s Losses Were Heaven’s Gains!”

  1. Great post Detrel. Thankful for all of these people sharing
    their gifts with us.

    • Bittersweet memories, prepping this piece because there were some folks that I’d forgotten that who’d transitioned this year … caused me to *pause* and hear their music, or relive a
      performance in my mind. We’ve had some treasures to come our way ~
      thanks for reading, Lis!

  2. Great job Detrel as always. Its very important to remember
    the past and pay homage to the ones who laid the ground work for
    our future. Again, great job!!!

  3. Amazing job. Thanks trell.

  4. Wow…their candles burned out too soon, but they all left
    us an amazing body of work. Thank you so much for the memories and
    the classy tribute.

    • Thank you, Sondra. Putting this together took plenty more hours than I’d planned because I found myself becoming totally caught up…either emotionally, or attempting to learn more via further investigative work.

      Reflecting on how I fell in love with Robert Wilson (Gap Band) after the ‘Party Train’ video. I hadn’t realized that he was the Wilson brother who’d passed away.

      Some losses really hit hard…

  5. I don’t know what is sadder, the loss of these giants or
    the very few replacements ready to try to fill their

  6. Thanks for reminding us about how artist and their role of
    sharing their art with the world.

  7. Wow, awesome job putting this together, Detrel. I know this
    had to be a daunting task, considering how many of these
    individuals are dear to our generation. There were a few who I
    didn’t remember that they passed on, like Dick Griffey.

    • It was well worth the effort when I looked over the complete blog and sent a prayer up for the souls that have transitioned … and for the legacy they’ve left for us to cherish.

  8. Wow, awesome job putting this list together, Trel. I know
    what a daunting task this must have been, considering how dear some
    individuals were to our generation.

  9. What a great post. A new set of ancestors looking over us.
    Thanks, Trel for creating a list for us to remember.

    • There were a few ‘greats’ that I inadvertently left off. I am going to post an addendum to pay tribute to those transitioned souls, shortly. Thanks for stopping by, Jo!

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