Jon Lind, famous for co-writing ‘Crazy for You’ and ‘Boogie Wonderland’, has died, following a two year battle with cancer. He was 73 years old.
Born in New York, Lind learned his craft opening for such luminaries as Judy Collins and Harry Chapin as a teenager, before transitioning into professional songwriting. Lind claimed his breakthrough happened by accident: “I was in the waiting room in Bob Cavallo’s office, strumming my guitar, playing a new ‘fragment’ of music I’d written. [Earth, Wind & Fire leader] Maurice White popped his head in and said, ‘What is that?’ He suggested I ‘lay it down’, and get it to him. I did so, and over the next three months and he turned it into ‘Sun Goddess.’”
He spent much of the eighties writing or co-writing for artists like Madonna, Cher, Cheap Trick and Rick Astley before he was ultimately nominated for Grammy of the Year for ‘Save the Best for Last’ in 1992.
“If you’re a singer/songwriter trying to compete in the marketplace,” Lind admitted in an interview. “You are already writing songs which adhere to some basic forms and structures. Find your moment, and throw a grenade or two into that structure, either musically, melodically, or lyrically. These are the moments that will define and distinguish your work from someone else.”
ASCAP describes his body of work as “a legacy of iconic songs”, while also highlighting his work as a “supremely talented A&R man”. As head of the A&R division for Hollywood Records, Lind worked closely with Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers, Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato. He later recalled that his job was to help distinguish Cyrus from her better known alter ego, Hannah Montana. “Miley was already a huge TV star after one season of playing the title role of Hannah Montana on the Disney Channel. The first Hannah Montana Soundtrack had gone triple platinum. My goal was to help Miley differentiate herself from Hannah Montana.”
Lind is survived by his wife, music executive Susan Drew. Together, they had two daughters, two stepchildren, and three grandchildren.
Stream Jon Lind’s ‘Crazy for You’ below.