Friday, September 17, 2010

Gone too soon!

Just thought I'd give some recognition to some fallen African American stars who have gotten little to no fanfare/recognition. Did you know them, did you realize they were gone. Mainstream media didn't shed much light. But here in no particular order, just a few that I have remembered that made an impact.

(1974 - 2003)

Keven A. Conner, better known to R&B fans as Dino, lead singer of the group H-Town, was killed in a car accident on Tuesday.

According to Houston police, Dino, 28, had just left a recording studio and was a passenger in a car being driven by his girlfriend, 22-year-old Teshya Rae Weisent. Their vehicle was struck by an SUV that ran a red light and both Dino and Weisant were killed.

Three people were in the SUV and all fled after the accident. One man, Juan Diaz, was apprehended, however, and faces felonious charges of failure to stop and render aid.

Originally signed to a recording contract by 2 Live Crew's Luther "Luke" Campbell, H-Town rose to prominence 10 years ago with their debut album, Fever for Da Flavor, which spawned their biggest hit, "Knockin' the Boots." In an interview with the Houston Chronicle, Shazam, Dino's twin brother and groupmate, said the trio had just finished an H-Town reunion album. Their last LP, Ladies Edition, was released in 1997.

“Rhythm-and-blues singer Tony Thompson, whose body was found near an air-conditioning unit outside an East Waco apartment complex earlier this month, died accidentally while “huffing” Freon, an autopsy report released Friday shows.

Dr. Reade A. Quinton, a medical examiner at the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas, determined that Thompson, 31, died from “toxic effects of chlorodifluoromethane,” or inhaling a toxic amount of Freon.

Freon is a gas primarily used in refrigeration and air-conditioning units.

Thompson, a Waco native and former lead singer for the platinum-selling Waco quintet Hi-Five in the 1990s, was found dead outside an apartment complex June 1.”

See Orish Grindstead in this video Subway ft. 702- This lil Game We Play

Orish Grinstead (June 2, 1980 - April 20, 2008) was an American R&B singer and founding member of the R&B group, 702. 702 is best known for its 1999 hit song, Where My Girls At, but also had hits with Get It Together and Steelo. The group has sold over 500,000 music units worldwide.

Grinstead formed 702 with her twin sister, Irish Grinstead, her older sister, LeMisha Grinstead and her friend, Kameelah Williams, in Las Vegas during the mid-1990s. The group was discovered by actor and comedian, Sinbad. He used his influence to get 702 onto a popular talent show in Atlanta, Georgia. Grinstead and the rest of the group met Michael Bivins while performing at the show. (Bivins is a member of New Edition and Bell Biv Devoe, as well as the manager of Boyz II Men.) Bivins suggested the name 702 for the group in honor of the telephone area code of their native Las Vegas and became their manager.

Orish Grinstead left 702 early on to pursue a solo career. However, she often rejoined 702 when another member had to leave temporarily. For example, Kameelah Williams left the group on two separate occasions to pursue her own solo career, so Grinstead rejoined the group in her place until Williams rejoined 702. Orish Grinstead also rejoined the group in 1999 when her older sister, Lemisha Grinstead, took a temporary leave from 702 in order to have her son.

Orish Grinstead died on April 20, 2008, at the age of 27 from kidney failure. She had been suffering from cancer and other undisclosed illnesses.

Lead singer, Kenny "G-Love," Greene (pictured in the center) of the 90's group "Intro," died of AIDS complications in 2001.

Midwest rapper MC Breed, born Eric Breed, was found dead in Ypsilanti, Michigan at the home of a friend on Nov. 22 after suffering kidney failure. He was 36. Months before his death, Breed collapsed on a basketball court and was later rushed to a hospital where he was placed on life support due to kidney failure. He died days after doctors removed him from life support. Breed gained attention as an independent artist with a number of early 1990's albums, including MC Breed & DFC, 20 Below, The New Breed and Funkafied. Breed's career spans 20-years and 13 albums. He collaborated with various West Coast rap stars including Too Short, Warren G and the late Tupac Shakur.

Who can forget cotton candy cutie, Artimus Lamont Bentley who played Hakeem Campbell on Moesha. The Milwaukee native worked with silver screen heavyweights such as Danny Glover on the film Buffalo Soldiers before his untimely death on January 18, 2005. Bentley was killed in a single-car accident as he drove along Highway 118 near Simi Valley in southern California's Ventura County. A police report says his car veered off the road and over an embankment, ejecting him from the vehicle and landing him traffic where he was then struck by five cars. He was 31 and the father of two young daughters

Lyfe Jennings ft LaLa Brown video

In the days before up-and-coming R&B singer Yolanda Brown and her boyfriend and producer JeTannue Clayborn were killed in the north side recording studio where they also lived, it had been the scene of a burglary in which most of their equipment had been stolen.

Milwaukee police released few details after the couple were found dead on Friday inside Loud Enuff Productionz, in the 5500 block of W. Lisbon Ave., and have not announced any arrests in the case. Brown's family doesn't know if the earlier crime is linked to the deaths, but notes that cords and accessories for the stolen equipment were missing after the shootings.

While questions remain about why the couple died, what Brown's family does know is that she was taken from them, and the music industry, too soon.

Brown, 21, was featured on a recording and in a video by platinum-selling singer Lyfe Jennings and was considered his protégé. She performed on local stages but also toured with Jennings as more fans came to know her professional name LaLa Brown.

"It was going to pay off. We knew it was going to pay off," (READ MORE)


Jason said...

This was a great post. Every life is valuable, even the ones that didn't sell 5 million records.

I was listening to Hi-5 a few days ago and I didn't even know about the young lady from 702.


Tia's Real Talk said...

@ Jason..Hey buddy!! It is sad! I always thought the light skinned girl with the short hair was the one with the twin. I know that they said she would replace her twin and her other sister whenever they couldn't perform but they did a good job of covering it up. I could never tell the original from the stand in.

Moanerplicity said...

Hey Tia-Woman:

What's even sadder than the lack of media coverage, is that all these young people never had the chance to reach their ultimate potential.

Gone, but hopefully NOT forgotten. May each of them rest in peace.


Reggie said...

Excellent post.

I had no idea that all of these entertainers were dead. I'm constantly on the Internet and I don't remember hearing about the demise of more than a couple of them.

Once again, excellent post.

Tia's Real Talk said...

@ Moanerplicity- I won't forget them!
@ Reggie..thanks for stopping by. Do you remember any of these artists? Who were you not aware of that passed?

Val said...

I knew about Orish. I used to be a fan of 702. And I knew about the guy that played Hakeem on Moesha. But the rest are a shock. I had no idea.

As Lin said the lack of media coverage is sad. But thankfully we have our own media in the form of blogs to get this sort of information out.


Tia's Real Talk said...

WOW..I might need to do a part 2 cause there are sooo many others!

Citizen Ojo said...

I did not know about all these things.. thanks for sharing.

ms.cawana said...


Dawggun said...

Thanx a mil for this. It was my search for content on Kenny Greene that brought me here, and I've just learned a lot I didn't know before; like Orish Grinstead and a few others.

Its painful how these young lives were cut too soon. But God knows best.

Being African myself there are no words to describe how proud I am of the respect being given to these unsung African American heroes. Thank you for that. RIP to all the black upcoming artistes that were gone before they could reach the top.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post these young black people deserve recognition . There apart of our history and made a mark in this world . God bless them and R.I.P!

Anonymous said...

May all of these people RIP.
Lala Brown was only 21, horrible.

Nicole Conner said...

God Bless both Keven Conner and Kenny Greene. I Love both of you two. I'm sure that you know how much I love you but it never hurts to say it out loud. I Love you!!

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy listening to Kevin "Dino" Conner, his sultry voice was/is so distinct and one of a kind. You could/can feel the passion in every note he sings. I wish I could have gotten to hear him perform live....

Tia's Real Talk said...

I would've loved to see him live!! He was my first celeb crush!! Thanks for sharing!!

Tia's Real Talk said...

They truly made an impact and their legacy will never be forgotten. Thanks for sharing.

Tia's Real Talk said...

What's up man!!!! How have you been? Are you on Facebook?

Tia's Real Talk said...

What's up?? How have you been?

Ray Hall said...

Rip Dino Conner