Music News

Influential R&B singer Lloyd Price, whose hits included “Stagger Lee” and “Personality,” dead at 88

Leon Morris/Redferns

Influential R&B singer/songwriter Lloyd Price, who was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, has died at the age of 88.

Price’s widow, Jackie, confirmed in a statement to Billboard that he passed away on May 3 at an extended-care facility in Westchester County, New York.

“Lloyd’s music crossed many boundaries and carried him to all corners of the world,” she wrote. “He got the nickname ‘Mr. Personality’ because of his biggest hit but he also earned that name because he was charismatic, generous, smart, funny, talented with a very kind heart.”

Price, who was born in the New Orleans suburb of Kenner, Louisiana, kicked off his music career in the early 1950s with a series of R&B hits, including the chart-topping “Lawdy Miss Clawdy” in 1952.

During the late ’50s and early ’60s, Lloyd released a run of crossover hits, starting in 1958 with his chart-topping rendition of the folk-blues standard “Stagger Lee.” In 1959, Price released “Personality,” an original song that peaked at #2 on the pop chart and #1 on the R&B tally. He followed that up with another original hit, “I Gonna Get Married,” which reached #3 and #1, respectively, on the pop and R&B charts.

During the early ’60s, Lloyd had several more top-40 hits.

Price also was an entrepreneur who launched a number of record labels, and also was involved in various other business ventures. In 1974, he helped promote Muhammad Ali and George Foreman‘s famous Rumble in the Jungle championship boxing match in Zaire, as well as the music festival held prior to the match that featured Bill Withers, James Brown, B.B. King and other stars.

In addition to his Rock Hall induction, Price was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2010 and the National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame in 2019.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.