Jean Knight, singer of “Mr. Big Stuff”, dies at the age of 80

by Patria

R’n’B star Jean Knight has died at the age of 80.

The Grammy-nominated star – behind ’70s funk hits ‘Mr. Big Stuff’ and ‘Think It Over’ – died last Wednesday (22Nov23) of natural causes. Her friend Bernie Cyrus confirmed the news.

“She was the first person I appointed to the board when I took it over, and I had a long relationship with her,” the former director of the Louisiana Music Commission tells Rolling Stone.

“She was always willing to get involved in good causes and help out.”

Bernie went on to say: “‘Mr. Big Stuff’ – it was just so universal. People remember it. And look, so many people did it. But nobody did it like Jean.

From soul singer Lyn Collins’ rendition in the 2005 film “Kinky Boots” to Martha Wash’s rendition in the 1994 Disney sports comedy-drama “D2: The Mighty Ducks,” the timeless classic has been used and covered many times.

It spent five weeks at number one on the Billboard Soul Singles chart and peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart behind the Bee Gees’ “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart.

Her debut demo of Jackie Wilson’s “Stop Doggin’ Me Around” launched the New Orleans native’s career.

Jet Star and Tribe signed her immediately.

Jean continued to work as a baker to support her music career and was still making money when she and producer Wardell Quezergue recorded her first big hit, “Mr. Big Stuff,” in Jackson, Mississippi.

The guaranteed hit was released on the famous Stax Records. It went double platinum and received a Grammy nomination for Best Female R’n’B Vocal Performance.

Jean left Stax and with “You Got the Papers (But I Got the Man)”, released on Atlantic Records, she wouldn’t have another hit until the next decade.

The Louisiana Music Commission inducted the “Do Me” singer into its Hall of Fame in 2007.

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