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Jackie Wilson

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Detroit, United States (1953 – 1984)

Jack Leroy “Jackie” Wilson (June 9, 1934 – January 21, 1984) was an American soul and R&B singer born in Detroit, Michigan, where he became active in the music business. He joined Billy Ward And His Dominoes in 1953, replacing Clyde McPhatter. After losing McPhatter, the group’s only recording success with Wilson came in June of 1956 with the single “St. Therese of The Roses” that reached number 13 on the Pop charts.

Wilson’s solo career begin with 1957’s “Reet Petite”, written by the then unknown Berry Gordy, Jr. and recorded on the Brunswick Records label with whom Wilson would remain throughout his career. He had his first top 40 hit in 1958 with “To Be Loved”. At the end of that year he had his first big success with “Lonely Teardrops” that went to #7 on the charts. The song, also written by Berry Gordy, Jr. became his signature tune. That same year saw Wilson release his first LP titled He’s So Fine.

Wilson’s brand of pop-soul and R&B helped him cross over to the mainstream, having several pop hits. His dynamic stage performances earned him the nickname “Mr. Excitement”. His performance of “Lonely Teardrops” on the Ed Sullivan Show is considered one of its classics. In the 1960s, Wilson continued to record singles, many of them operatic, such as “Danny Boy” or “Night”, others were up-tempo and exciting, such as “Baby Workout” in 1963.

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