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Music

William Hart from The Delfonics has died aged 77

@josephtaysom

The Delfonics leader William Hart has passed away aged 77 following emergency surgery.

His son confirmed the tragic news to TMZ, and revealed the singer was admitted to hospital after having problems with his breathing, Hart then died from complications relating to surgery. After news broke of his death, tributes poured in from the musical world.

Hart formed The Delfonics in 1966 along with his brother, Wilbert, and it was originally a side-project of their band, The Orphonics, but soon eclipsed them. Their most notable song was 1968’s ‘La-La (Means I Love You)’ which was covered by the likes of The Jackson 5 and Prince. Furthermore, the group’s work has also been sampled by stars in the hip-hop world, such as Missy Elliot and Biggie Smalls.

The Delphonics called it a day in 1975, but Hart continued to work with members Major Harris and Randy Cain until the 1990s under different guises.

Producer Adrian Younge, who Hart collaborated with on 2013’s Adrian Younge Presents The Delfonics, which included re-worked classics from The Delfonics canon.

He wrote: “Definitely shed some tears today. We lost a great one. You taught me so much and gave so much to the world of music. The master singer…the master writer…the man that created songs that changed the world. You are missed brotha. Love you man. As I write this, I’m thinking about one of the last songs we wrote for our album ‘Life Never Ends.’ Never thought about it applying to you though.”

Younge added: “Still remember us talking on the phone for the first time…the excitement about us getting to work…the journey you’ve been on. The life stories you shared. Wow. What a treasure. The time you told me you wrote ‘La La means I love you’ because your newborn kept saying ‘La La’.

“You told me it was your son saying I love you. The simple things you turned into masterpieces man. I can go on and on but thank you for everything.”

Meanwhile, New Kids On The Block, wrote: “We are so saddened to learn of the passing of William Hart, the lead singer and founding member of the Delfonics as well as the writer and singer of one of our most beloved songs: the cover version of ‘Didn’t I Blow Your Mind’.”