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Sylvester Johnson, Highly Sampled Artist by Kanye and Others Passes Away

American soul and blues singer-songwriter, musician and producer Sylvester Johnson recently died at age 85.

The singer’s passing

The great blues and soul artist from Chicago, Syl Johnson passed away on February 6th at the age of 85. The news arrived a short period after the passing of his brother, Jimmy Johnson. Jimmy Johnson passed away on Jan, 31 2022.

Born in Holly Springs, Mississippi, in July 1, 1936.  Johnson’s family moved to Chicago’s South Side during his teenage years. Once settled in Chicago, the artist began his music journey by embracing his first guitar. The Blues Hall of Fame inducted Syl Johnson in 2020.

He now leaves his daughter and grandkids. Johnson’s daughter, Syleena Johnson, followed the footsteps of the father by becoming a singer herself. Syleen obviously inherited some music genes as she was also nominated for a Grammy.

Johnson’s family’s statement

The family members didn’t give any detail on the Johnson’s death. The relatives maintained privacy on the funeral arrangements as well. However, the family released a statement: “A fiery, fierce, fighter, always standing for the pursuit of justice as it related to his music and sound, he will truly be missed by all who crossed his path. His catalog and legacy of him will be remembered as impeccable and a historical blueprint to all who experience it. ”

Sylvester Johnson’s heritage to the music scene

Kanye West

Johnson had multiple successes in his long music career. His most successful records included “Different Strokes”, “Is It because I’m Black” and “Take Me to the River.” In the last decade or two, Johnson’s songs came back especially thanks to the samples of his songs in hip-hop music. In fact, some of Johnson’s heritage lay in songs by artists like Kanye West, 2pac, Jay-Z and Public Enemy. One of these samples, in fact, appears in West and Jay-Z’ album Watch The Throne.

Moreover, the 2015 documentary “Syl Johnson: Any Way the Wind Blows” narrates the incredible life of the blues and soul artist.

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