James Mtume, 'Juicy Fruit' Singer & Jazz Legend, Dead At 76

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The music world has lost another icon with the passing of James Mtume. The legendary Jazz and Funk singer, known for his Grammy Award winning, highly sampled track "Juicy Fruit" has died at the age of 76. The news of Mtume's death was confirmed by Lisa Lucas, the daughter of the star's longtime creative partner Reggie Lucas, who shared via Twitter:

“So much loss. So much grief. Rest in power to Uncle Mtume. My late fathers partner in crime, the co-creator of the songs of my life (and about my birth!). He was essential part of the life of the man who made me, therefore me too. Gone now. He will be dearly, eternally missed."

Friends, family and fans of Mtume's work took to social media to mourn the loss of the star after news of his sudden made its rounds on the Internet. Grammy Award winning singer Stephanie Mills shared in a statement:

"I am saddened to hear of the passing of my dear friend and producer #JamesMtume. He was so brilliant and an amazing music mind. The work chemistry we had was second to none. I will continue to lift you up through our music."

Roots legend Questlove penned a heartfelt message to Mtume, writing:

"It’s really not doing justice listing accomplishments. Right now. Thank you James Mtume for all the wisdom & love & respect you’ve shown me & my brothers over the years. #JamesMtume."

Although Mtume scored several of his biggest hits in the late 70's, he earn credits on recordings well into the 90's and 2000's for artists including Notorious BIG, Mary J Blige and K-Ci & JoJo. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mtume's loved ones at this time.

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