“Object Of My Desire” Singer & Her R&B Boyfriend Died Way Too Young…Many Never Knew

Posted On : June 26, 2018

Remember the group, Starpoint? They had the 80’s hits, “Object of My Desire,” “What You’ve Been Missing,” and a few others. Sadly, their talented lead singer, Renee Diggs, passed away in 2005 at the age of 50, as a result of a health condition she first became stricken with back in the 80’s, at the height of the group’s success. Her boyfriend also passed away at a young age. We wanted to shine a spotlight on them because their deaths seemed to have gone unnoticed in mainstream media and we, at ILoveOldSchoolMusic, think they deserve to be noticed.

Before we get into what caused their deaths, let’s back track to the group’s success and how Renee ultimately found out she was ill. When Starpoint first hit the scene in 1980, they had some success with their jam “I Just Wanna Dance With You.” They continued to release an album every year after that, but it wasn’t until 1985 ,that they made a serious dent in the R&B world with their classic jam, “Object Of My Desire.” Things were looking WAY up for them. They were getting national and international attention, they started a tour with Morris Day, Luther Vandross, Isley Jasper Isley, and Atlantic Starr, and it was during that tour that Starpoint got the frightening and discouraging news that no one expected -Renee found out she had an extremely debilitating disease that was only going to get worse with time.
starpoint renee diggs2

Her Debilitating Disease

In 1985, Renee was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, which is an autoimmune disorder that affects the central nervous system, causing damage to the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. That damage can greatly affect a person mentally, physically and psychologically. Although Renee was beginning to suffer from some of her symptoms in 1985, she didn’t let that stop her from completing their tour and she never let it show on stage. She was a true warrior.

Renee & Boyfriend/Starpoint Singer Kept Working After Split

After Starpoint broke up in 1990, Renee and her long time boyfriend and Starpoint founder and lead guitarist, Ernesto Phillips (Renee is leaning on Ernesto in the photo below), created music for her album, Oasis, which released in Europe initially and after that, Renee created the Renée Diggs Foundation for Multiple Sclerosis to raise awareness about MS. She continued to struggle with her health, but she also continued to create music throughout the 90’s and early 2000’s.
enesto and renee

More Heartache For Renee, Boyfriend Died

Then more tragic news struck Renee again, the love of her life for decades, Ernesto Philips, died on March 25, 2004 from a stroke. Renee was devastated to say the least…

Renee Died Soon After From This…

Then sadly, that following year on March 18, 2005, just one week prior to the one year death anniversary of her man, Ernesto, Renee succumbed to an underlying heart condition. Technically speaking, Renee Diggs died from a heart condition, but some might argue that she died from her heart’s condition. Her heart’s condition was broken- she was heartbroken over Ernesto and sometimes they say that type of grief can possibly create, or even worsen already existing health issues. This is just speculation, but it’s not unheard of.

Starpoint lost two of their beloved and talented key players in their band and they will forever be missed, but their legacies of what they contributed to R&B music will never die. We, here at ILoveOldSchoolMusic, will strive to do our part to make sure that their memories as great artists, great musicians, and great people, continue to live on as well. May Renee Diggs and Ernesto Phillips continue to rest peacefully.