Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Kashif Died Sunday

Kashif, formerly Michael Jones, who changed his name after he converted to Islam, died Sunday at his home in Los Angeles of undetermined causes.  He was 59.  (Note:  some websites claim Kashif died at the age of 56.  According to the respected sources 'Billboard' and the newspaper 'The Los Angeles Times', he was 59.
Kashif was a multi-instrumentalist played keyboards for Stephanie Mills and also worked in the studio for the Four Tops, Tavares and Gloria Gaynor, among others.  He signed a solo recording contract with Arista in 1983.  Although he never had a big Popular hit, he landed eight Top 20 R&B hits, including "I Just Gotta' Have You (Lover Turn me One)" and "Love Changes", a 1987 duet with Meli'sa Morgan.

Kashif was best known as a producer, helping Evelyn "Champagne" King and others before label boss Clive Davis chose Kashif to work with a new talent Davis had just signed.  That new talent was Whitney Houston, and Kashif helped Whitney generate three big hits on her debut album.

Kashif was nominated for six Grammy Awards in his career, working with Dionne Warwick, Kenny G., George Benson and the Average White Band.

Kashif was working on a 10-part documentary at the time of his death called The History of R&B Music and Its Influence on World Culture.

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