The R&B world has lost one has lost one of its greatest composers.
EURweb reports Kashif, born Michael Jones, was found unresponsive by a neighbor on Monday (Sept. 26), but the Los Angeles County Coroners’s office believed the singer-songwriter passed away on Sunday.
Kashif was an important staple in R&B, notably for his innovative use of synthesizers. The Harlem native began his career at age 15 as a keyboard player and vocalist in the funk band B. T. Express. He went on to work with acts like Evelyn “Champagne” King (“Shame,” “Love Come Down”) and Howard Johnson (“So Fine.”) His signature use of synthesizers paired with lyrics of love and devotion helped defined urban sounds following the exit of disco music. Kashif pursued a solo career in the early 80’s and earned Grammy nominations for his second album, Send Me Your Love. The singer is also credited with launching the career of jazz legend, Kenny G.
Many remember Kashif for his single, “Love Changes” with Meli’sa Morgan and penning “You Give Good Love” for a young Whitney Houston. In between albums, he also worked with Jermaine Jackson, The Stylistics, Melba Moore, George Benson, Stacy Lattisaw and Dionne Warwick.
Members of the music world, including Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, paid tribute to Kashif on Twitter.
— wendavis (@wendavis) September 27, 2016
— Jimmy Jam (@flytetymejam) September 27, 2016
Sad to learn my man Kashif has died. He was a really good brother. 56 is way 2 soon. RIP my brother & God bless you.https://t.co/AYALbv28Ws
— Donnie Simpson (@DonnieSimpson) September 27, 2016
he was directly responsible for so much music that i grew up with and still listen tohttps://t.co/kZTNV2hdrQ
— Donwill® – Openly Black (@donwill) September 27, 2016
A crazy year …RIP KashiF Singer/Producer Kashif Has Died. He was 56 https://t.co/t9npFekGem
— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) September 27, 2016
— B.R.O.theR. ?uestion (@questlove) September 27, 2016
Bowlegged Lou/Full Force…..Our friend is now in heaven. Rest in peace>KASHIF. (Such an incredible music maker,… https://t.co/9r9mp96QnS
— Full Force (@fullforceworld) September 27, 2016
Actress Yvette Nicole Brown also shared her appreciation for the pioneer.
— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) September 27, 2016
Kashif was 59-years-old. Take a listen to one of his biggest jams below.