Saleem, pro­ducer for Whit­ney Hous­ton, dies

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - OBITUARIES - By Mes­fin Fekadu AP Mu­sic Writer

Kashif Saleem, the singer, song­writer and pro­ducer who crafted dance-funk hits in the 1980s and also pro­duced Whit­ney Hous­ton’s first big hit, died Sun­day from un­de­ter­mined causes in his Cal­i­for­nia home, his rep­re­sen­ta­tive said. He was 59.

No fur­ther de­tails about the mu­si­cian’s death were pro­vided.

Saleem pro­duced Hous­ton’s “You Give Good Love,” which be­came a world­wide hit in 1985. It reached No. 3 on the main Bill­board chart and reached No. 1 on the R&B chart, be­com­ing Hous­ton’s first break­out hit song.

Saleem also worked on dance-floor hits for Eve­lyn “Cham­pagne” King in the 1980s, in­clud­ing “Love Come Down,” ‘’I’m In Love,” sam­pled by Janet Jack­son in 2004, and “Betcha She Don’t Love You,” sam­pled by Mon­ica and Missy El­liott in 2010.

His big­gest hit as an artist was a remake of the 1978’s “Love Changes” by R&B group Mother’s Finest. Saleem’s 1987 duet ver­sion with Meli’sa Mor­gan peaked at No. 2 on the R&B charts. The song was cov­ered by Mary J. Blige and Jamie Foxx in 2005.

Saleem was born Michael Jones in New York, on Dec. 26, 1956, and was raised in var­i­ous fos­ter homes. He changed his name to Kashif Saleem af­ter study­ing Is­lam. As a teenager, he joined the funk-disco group B.T. Ex­press.

Pam and Mike Stitt, a cou­ple Saleem un­of­fi­cially adopted as his brother and sis­ter more than 20 years ago, said they were sad­dened by his death.

“We are sad­dened by the pass­ing of our brother. We ask for your thoughts and prayers to be with us at this time,” they said in a state­ment.

Saleem also had Top 10 R&B hits with songs like “I Just Gotta Have You (Lover Turn Me On),” ‘’Per­son­al­ity” and “Baby Don’t Break Your Baby’s Heart.”

Saleem wrote the book, “Ev­ery­thing You’d Bet­ter Know About The Record Busi­ness,” pub­lished in 1996. His rep said he had con­ducted more than 200 in­ter­views for a 10-part doc­u­men­tary called “The His­tory of R&B Mu­sic and Its In­flu­ence On World Cul­ture” be­fore he died.

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