R&B singer Leon Haywood dead at 74

Los Angeles, April 7 (IANS) R&B singer-songwriter Leon Haywood has died. He was 74.

Haywood, whose 1974 hit single “I want’a do something freaky to you” was memorably repurposed by Dr. Dre’s “Nuthin but a ‘g’ thang,” died here on Wednesday, reports variety.com.

Born in Houston, Texas, Haywood moved to Los Angeles in the 1960s and found work as a keyboardist, most notably with Big Jay McNeely and as a part of Sam Cooke’s touring band.

Haywood re-emerged in the mid-1970s as a reliable crafter of mid-tempo, string-drenched funk anthems on 20th Century Fox Records.

“Stroking (Pt. II)”, “Come and get yourself some” and “Keep it in the family” were all hits on the R&B chart, while “I want’a do something freaky to you” reached No.15 on the pop singles chart in 1975.

After three albums for Columbia and MCA, Haywood returned to 20th Century for 1980 single “Don’t push it don’t force it”, an infectious disco funk workout that reached number two on the R&B chart and made headway in Britain.

A year later, he wrote a Grammy-nominated Top 40 hit for labelmate Carl Carlton, “She’s a bad mama jama”, before segueing into a career as a producer.

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