Grammy-win­ning drum­mer played with top artists

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ARTS -

LONG BEACH, Calif. — Stu­dio drum­mer Ricky Law­son, a col­lab­o­ra­tor with mu­si­cians in­clud­ing Michael Jack­son, Eric Clap­ton, Phil Collins and Whit­ney Hous­ton, has died at a sub­ur­ban Los An­ge­les hos­pi­tal fol­low­ing a brain aneurism. He was 59. Law­son’s un­cle, Paul Riser, said that Law­son was re­moved from life sup­port 10 days af­ter the aneurism di­ag­no­sis. Law­son was be­ing treated at Long Beach Memo­rial Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Long Beach, about 40 kilo­me­tres south of Los An­ge­les. The Detroit na­tive learned to play drums at age 16 and jumped into the mu­sic busi­ness even be­fore grad­u­at­ing from Cooley High School, de­vel­op­ing into one of the na­tion’s top stu­dio mu­si­cians in the 1980s. His work ap­pears on Hous­ton’s ver­sion of I Will Al­ways Love You. He also per­formed with Al Jar­reau, Ge­orge Benson, Bette Mi­dler, Quincy Jones and many oth­ers. A found­ing mem­ber of the Yel­low­jack­ets, Law­son won a Grammy Award in 1986 for R&B in­stru­men­tal per­for­mance for the jazz-fu­sion group’s hit And You Know That. He be­came dis­ori­ented dur­ing a per­for­mance on Dec. 13 and was di­ag­nosed with an aneurysm. Drum­mer Quest­love Jenk­ins of The Roots called Law­son “the master” on Twit­ter Dec. 18 in a mes­sage say­ing, “pray­ing for his re­cov­ery.” Drum­mer Sheila E. tweeted: “We lost a great man, drum­mer, fa­ther, brother and son. mr Ricky Law­son. He passed away yes­ter­day. Please pray for his fam­ily. we will miss u.”

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