James Mtume, Grammy-winning songwriter, dead at 76

Grammy- winning songwriter and musician James Mtume died at 76, his son Faulu confirmed to Pitchfork.

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Mtume, from Philadelphia, rose to prominence as a jazz musician in the 1970s, touring with Miles Davis and his band as a percussionist from 1971-1975, People Magazine reported. Mtume went on to work with artists and play on more than 80 albums with notable musicians like Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, and Roberta Flack, according to Mtume’s online biography.

Mtume is best known for his 1983 song “Juicy Fruit,” which was famously sampled on “Juicy” by The Notorious B.I.G., Variety reported.

While performing in his own group, Mtume also wrote songs for other artists, including “Never Knew Love Like This Before,” sung by Stephanie Mills, for which he received two Grammy Awards, Deadline reported.

Remembrances were posted on Twitter honoring the Jazz great. Philadelphia DJ Cosmo Baker posted, “Rest In Power to the great James Mtume. … His passing is truly a monumental loss.”

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