R.I.P. David Peaston

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R&B singer David Peaston passed yesterday of complications from diabetes. Peaston came to national recognition in the late ’80’s when he won The Apollo’s amateur night several weeks in a row singing “God Bless The Child.” The St. Louis native came from a musical family that included a mother who was a member of The Clara Ward singers and his sister Fontella Bass, who had a hit with “Rescue Me” in 1965. Peaston recorded three albums with the last one being 2006’s Song Book: Songs of Soul & Inspiration. He had six hit singles and won a Soul Train Music Award for Best R&B/Soul or Rap New Artist in 1990. In recent years he toured with various theatrical productions and became a double amputee because of his illness. Peaston did not become a huge star but his voice was unforgettable and another addition to the sturdy vocal aesthetic of the ’80’s and ’90’s that seemed to have lost its commercial relevance by the 2000’s.