Published Dec 28, 2010The world of R&B has lost another icon. Just a day after we learned of the death of Motown singer Teena Marie, we've received word that Bernie Wilson, a member of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, passed away at the Kresson View Center nursing home in Voorhees, NJ. He was 64.
While the name Bernie Wilson may not be familiar to all, his music certainly spread far and wide. Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes were a celebrated Philadelphia soul group, founded in the '50s and active all the way up until Melvin suffered a stroke in 1996 (he died in 1997).
They achieved their greatest success with the 1972 smash "If You Don't Know Me By Now," famously covered by Simply Red in 1989. The song "I Miss You" was recently sampled by Big Boi on his track "Shine Blockas" and by Jay-Z on his song "This Can't Be Life" (produced by Kanye West).
While the exact cause of death is unconfirmed, the singer's cousin, Faith Peace-Mazzccua, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that Wilson suffered a major stroke this year and a heart attack last year.
The Blue Notes' most famous member, Teddy Pendergrass, died in January of this year. Lloyd Parks, 61, is the only surviving member of the group's most celebrated incarnation.