David Lasley, Musician-Songwriter and Reserve Vocalist, Dies at No. 74 – Billboard

David Lasley – an American artist, songwriter and longtime backup vocalist for a series of legendary artists – passed away on December 9 at the age of 74, Billboards confirmed. In addition to his solo career that helped him reach the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 in 1982’s “If I Had My Wish Tonight,” Lasley also sang back-up for Burt Bacharach, Neil Diamond, Luther Vandross, Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin and more.


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The gratitude to the late singer poured in after learning of his death, with Desmond Child, James Taylor and more expressed their condolences online and shared his music.

Lasley co-wrote Bonnie Raittof “I Ain’t Gonna Let You Break My Heart Again” and “Got You On My Mind.” Raitt went on social media with words of love about Lasley, saying, “I am so sorry to hear of the passing of another beautiful friend and bright light in our musical world, golden voice David Lasley.”

According to a 1986 LA time interview, Lasley grew up just outside of Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he sang in his local church. Lasley, his late sister Julie, and his childhood friends later formed a band called The Utopias and together made four records, which they promoted at local radio stations. . After the group’s disbandment, Lasley continued to participate in the production of ‘s tours Hair! from 1972-1974.

After his time in Utopias, Lasley formed a musical group called Rosie, released two albums on RCA discs in 1976 and 1977. Years later, he lent his talents to commercials, voicing commercials for Miller Beer and Seagram’s Cooler.

Lasley’s four-octave vocal range makes him a coveted backup singer, especially with his falsetto voice. Throughout his career, he has also worked behind James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Bette Midler and Ringo Starr.

In the early 1980s, Lasley signed with Geffen Records but bought the contract out when dissatisfied with the label asking him to “copy other artists”, according to LA time interview.

From 1981 to 2006, Lasley released eight solo albums and co-wrote countless singles for Raitt, LaBelle, Arnold McCuller, Whitney Houston, Dusty Springfield, Anita Baker and more.

Lasley also appeared in 20 feet from Stardom, a 2013 documentary about backup singers that won Best Documentary Feature at the 2014 Academy Awards. In 2021, a serious illness caused Lasley to amputate his arm, according to one GoFundMe started by McCuller, his friend and collaborator of 51 years. He is survived by his brother, Dean Lasley.

Other tributes can be found below.

https://www.billboard.com/music/music-news/david-lasley-dead-obituary-1235008335/ David Lasley, Musician-Songwriter and Reserve Vocalist, Dies at No. 74 – Billboard

Dais Johnston

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