R.I.P. To Soul Singer, Bobby Taylor, Who Discovered Jackson 5…Dies At Age 83
Do you know who Bobby Taylor is? Most people know he was a member of the famed group, The Vancouvers, signed to Motown Records back in the late 1960s. Although Taylor had a very successful career as the lead singer of the group, his work as a singer and performer wasn’t all that he made history for. In addition to his own work, he’s also credited with discovering one of the most influential groups in music history – the Jackson Five. Now, fans around the world are mourning the loss of the Washington, D.C. native.
A Legend Gone:
According to Billboard, Bobby Taylor passed away after a long battle with leukemia. For the past several years, Taylor has been living in Hong Kong receiving treatments for the illness along with tumors of the spine. But unfortunately, Taylor succumbed due to complications from leukemia. It has been reported that the singer died at a Hong Kong hospital on Saturday, July 22.
In the wake of Bobby’s death, a few of his close friends and acquaintances have spoken out to pay homage to the late singer. During a brief interview with Rolling Stone, Bobby’s longtime family friend, Suzy Michelson spoke fondly of Bobby and how he impacted her life during the Motown years. “Bobby was a producer, creator, and mentor to all of the greats in the early Motown days,” Suzy Michelson told Rolling Stone.
Tommy Chong, former guitarist for The Vancouvers who would go on to form the popular group Cheech and Chong. also shared his fondest memories of Bobby. “Bobby had a range that exceeded even Patti LaBelle,” Chong recalled.
He continued, “He used to do ‘Danny Boy’ and make everybody cry in the audience. He would hit notes that were unbelievably high and he could sound like anybody he wanted to sound like—Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Smokey [Robinson]. I’ve been with a lot of singers, but nothing like Bobby.”
With the success of The Vancouvers, Bobby left his mark on music with numerous hit records but he’s most known for discovering the one group that changed music history. After hearing the Jackson 5 sing, Bobby invited the boys to open for his concert. Then, he introduced them to Berry Gordy and the rest is history. Thanks to Bobby, the world of music was forever changed by the impact of the iconic Jackson 5.