Curtis Lee Mayfield (June 3, 1942 – December 26, 1999) was an American soul, R&B, and funk singer, songwriter, and record producer. He is highly regarded as a pioneer of funk and of politically conscious African-American music.He was also a multi-instrumentalist who played the guitar, bass, piano, saxophone, and drums. Curtis Mayfield is a winner of both the Grammy Legend Award (in 1994) and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (in 1995),and was a double inductee into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, inducted as a member of The Impressions into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991, and again in 1999 as a solo artist. He is also a 2 time Grammy Hall of Fame inductee.
Click below to see the Mayfield's epic "Move On Up"
Mayfield was active throughout the 1970s and 1980s, though he had a somewhat lower public profile in the 1980s. On August 13, 1990, Mayfield was paralyzed from the neck down after stage lighting equipment fell on him at an outdoor concert at Wingate Field in Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York. The accident set him back, but Mayfield forged ahead. He was unable to play guitar, but he wrote, sang, and directed the recording of his last album, New World Order. Mayfield's vocals were painstakingly recorded, usually line-by-line while lying on his back.
Mayfield received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995. In February, 1998, he had to have his right leg amputated due to diabetes. Mayfield was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on March 15, 1999. Health reasons prevented him from attending the ceremony, which included fellow inductees Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Dusty Springfield, George Martin, and 1970s Curtom signee and labelmate The Staple Singers.
His last appearance on record was with the group Bran Van 3000 on the song "Astounded" for their album Discosis, recorded just before his death and released in 2001
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