Tuesday, June 05, 2007

R.I.P. Tony Thompson (1975-2007)

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From Tha Artivist:
This is truly sad and unfortunate...People we need to really start supporting our talented brothers and sisters...It seems like this type of thing happens more often than it should...By the outpouring of condolences and what not it seems that Tony Thompson had enough fans to buy his last album...The problem is that if you don't have a decent marketing or distribution deal then no one really knows that you exist...It's odd over the past several weeks I had been reminiscing about Hi Five as well as some other groups from the Late 1980s and Early 19990s...

It is ironic that a person as talented as Tony Thompson was could be considered washed up by the powers that be at the age of 31 yet Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones are selling out coliseums worldwide while approaching 70!!!

The problem in the Black community is that we abandon our stars when they turn a certain age...I think turning 40 is career suicide for many of our music artists with the exception of a few (Prince comes to mind)...Unless our artists get crossover/mainstream appeal they may find themselves not surviving the hurdle of age discrimination from their own...The music industry is less about quality music and more about marketing to naive youths who actually buy the music...

More on the above things later, but my condolences to Mr. Thompson's family, friends and fans...You were truly an American Original and I thank you for helping to provide the soundtrack for my early teen years...You are appreciated....
With Artastic and Blacklicious regards I AM,

R2C2H2 Tha Artivist a.k.a. A Tony Thompson/Hi Five Fan

I Can't Wait Another Minute

She's Playing Hard To Get

Feelin' You Featuring Hi-Five And Mike Jones...

From Vibe

By: Julianne Shepherd

Hi-Five singer found dead; cause unknown, family friend disputes speculation of drug overdose.

Singer Tony Thompson, of popular '90s R&B group Hi-Five, was found dead in his hometown of Waco, TX, Friday night. He was 31 years old.

Thompson's body was discovered outside an East Waco apartment complex by security officers, according to the Waco Herald-Tribune. Reggie Reed, a family friend, had earlier reported Thompson may have passed from a drug overdose, but disputed reports that claimed an OD was the official cause. "I said only that there was speculation," Reed told the Herald-Tribune. The matter is still under investigation by Waco police, who have ordered an autopsy and categorized the death as "questionable." Thompson's family has said they will release a statement later this week. On Monday (June 4), a representative for the Waco Police Department told VIBE the status of death was still listed as "questionable," and would probably remain so until the return of toxicology reports, expected within six to 12 weeks.

Also Monday (June 4), a statement was released on behalf of Zomba Label Group CEO Barry Weiss and the Jive Records staff: "Tony's musical and vocal talent far exceeded his age in years," the statement read. "His rich vocal tone and artistry were readily apparent even at the young age of 15, when we signed him at Jive. Above all, he was a good person. Our heart goes out to him and his family."

Hi-Five piqued and went platinum with such hits as "I Like the Way (The Kissing Game)," "I Can't Wait Another Minute" and "I Just Can't Handle It." Thompson released a solo album, Sexsational, in 1995. Though Hi-Five dissolved in the '90s, Thompson had reunited the group with four new members, who released The Return in 2005.

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