Amplifier - Archives

Soulful Disco Diva Loleatta Holloway Dead at 64


View photo

Like many twenty- and thirtysomethings, The Amp first encountered soul and disco queen Loleatta Holloway via Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch's 1991 Number One single "Good Vibrations," which sampled her 1980 hit "Love Sensation." Regardless of whatever eye-catching activities Marky Walhberg was doing in the video (boxing, being shirtless, watch it below), that brassy, bruising disco diva vocal grabbed your ear and gave it a twist.

We'll be listening to "Love Sensation" -- and "Lifting Me Up" and "Crash Goes Love" -- today as we remember Holloway's big, beautiful voice. The singer died last night at age 64 after suffering an undisclosed illness, her manager confirmed to Spinning Soul; he later clarified that she died of heart failure at a suburban Chicago hospital. The site traces Holloway's career from her gospel days with Albertina Walker and the Caravans to her time as a balladeer to the release of the B-side "Dreaming," which introduced her as a disco star. She first hit Billboard's R&B chart in 1973 with the groovy "Mother of Shame," and cracked the Hot 100 two years later with the down-tempo "Cry to Me." She returned to the singles chart in '77 ("Dreamin' ") and '78 ("Only You"), but her best-performing song -- and only Number One -- was "Good Vibrations," on which she shared a performer credit. 

Before "Love Sensation" got picked up by Walhberg's crew, it was borrowed for the 1989 Black Box U.K. hit "Ride on Time" -- uncredited. Holloway sued, as she should have (if you know her song, you should know her name!), and received royalties for the song.

Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch, on the other hand, credited her from the get go. Holloway subsequently received ample royalties from "Good Vibrations," which has been certified gold for selling 500,000 copies. The song, released in 1991, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

Recent Obituaries:
G-Funk Legend Nate Dogg Dead at 41
Ex-Alice in Chains Bassist Mike Starr Dead at 44

Follow The Amp on Twitter for a non-stop feed of essential music news

View Comments