Legendary dance music diva Loleatta Holloway has passed at the age of 64. Holloway’s death was confirmed Monday by her manager Ron Richardson to Spinning Soul.
Top Philadelphia arranger and producer Norman Harris quickly signed her in 1976 for his new label, Gold Mind. The first release from the album Loleatta was another Sam Dees ballad, Worn-Out Broken Heart, which reached No. 25 R&B, but the B-side, Dreaming, climbed to No. 72 on the pop chart and launched her as a disco act.
Eighteen songs of hers charted on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart, including four No. 1s. However, it was a ballad that proved to be another big R&B hit for her. Only You was written and produced by Bunny Sigler, who also sang with Holloway on the track, and it reached NO. 11 in 1978.
The Chicago-born singer became a staple in dance music and gay clubs around the world. Holloway's catalog on Gold Mind and Salsoul—boasting classics such as "Love Sensation", "Runaway", "Relight My Fire"—has become iconic and heavily sampled by later artists. Ricky Martin later covered "Relight My Fire" with Holloway.
Holloway is probably more famous to younger audiences for Black Box's "Ride on Time", Marky Mark's "Good Vibration" and Cevin Fisher's "Burning Up" which sampled "Love Sensation". But my all time faves are two tracks: Walter Gibbons' killer 12" remix of "Hit and Run" and the magnificent "Dreamin'." Holloway's rap at the close of the latter track—'Every lady has a man that is special, it's the inside that counts ... Stand up, tell everybody I got him'—has spawned dozens of heavily-sampled tribute tracks.
So many memories, WHEN YOU JUMP ...