The lead singer for the family group The Five Stairsteps - Clarance Burke Jr. - has died at age 62. No details about his death have been released.
Burke, along with his siblings - James, Kenneth, Dennis, , and later Cubie - were members of the sixties soul group The Five Stairsteps - often referred to as "the first family of soul". The children and their father formed the band in 1958; playing in and around their home of Chicago. After winning a talent contest, the family band signed on with where they had a series of minor hits until they landed the top10 hit "O-o-h Child" - a song that has appeared on a number of films and television shows over the past 40 years.
More than just a member of The Five Stairsteps, Burke was the principal singer, band's choreographer, guitarist, and songwriter. Later Clarance also became the band's producer.
The band broke up in 1972, but reformed again in 1976; only to break up for good in 1979. Clarance and his brother Keni formed The Invisible Man's Band who had a hit with "All Night Thing" in 1980. That band too broke up in 1983 and Clarance went solo. He was in the process of working on another tour at the time of his death.
Over the course of his musical career, Burke has worked with musical legends Curtis Mayfield, , , Sly Stone, , and .
A partial discography of Clarance Burke's music...
"Out Family Portrait"
"Greatest Hits CD"
"First Family of Soul: The Best of The Five Stairsteps"
"The Curtom Story"
"Step by Step by Step"
"Invisible Man's Band"
"Really Wanna See You"
single "Sunday Afternoon"
single "O-o-h Child"