James Mtume, R&B singer, jazz percussionist, producer and more, most commonly known for his 1983 hit “Juicy Fruit,” which was sampled by The Notorious B.I.G. on “Juicy,” has passed away at the age of 76.
Lisa Lucas, the daughter of Mtume's late creative partner, Reggie Lucas, shared the news 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.”
His cause of death has not been revealed.
According to Deadline, Mtume appeared on countless albums (80) with a variety of artists including Duke Ellington, Sonny Rollins, Dizzy Gillespie, Roberta Flack and Lonnie Liston Smith.
Mtume, who was a part of a group named after himself, wrote songs for Stephanie Mills (“Never Knew Love Like This Before”) and received a Grammy for Best R&B Song Writing and Producing.
He also wrote the Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway hits “The Closer I Get to You” and “Back Together Again.”