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Died On This Date (January 21, 1984) Jackie Wilson / R&B Great

Posted by themusicsover on January 21, 2010

Jackie Wilson
June 9, 1934 – January 21, 1984

Jackie Wilson was an R&B singer who came to be known as “Mr. Excitement” during a career that spanned from the early ’50s until tragedy struck in 1975.  Born in Detroit, Michigan, Wilson’s young life was spotted with trips to a juvenile detention center until, at age 17, he turned his focus on music.  He was discovered by the legendary Johnny Otis who got him a spot singing for a local R&B vocal group, the Thrillers.  Before long, Wilson was signed as a solo artist to Brunswick Records.  He went on to record over 50 hit singles, including perhaps his best known, “Lonely Teardrops” and “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher.”   As a performer, Wilson knew few equals.  He is said to have inspired Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson.  On September 25, 1975, Wilson suffered a heart attack while singing “Lonely Teardrops” at a Dick Clark show in New Jersey.   The on-stage fall resulted in a head injury that put him in a coma or vegetative state for the rest of his life.  Jackie Wilson was 49 when he died of pneumonia on January 21, 1984.

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