‘Stagger Lee’ singer and early rock’n’roll star Lloyd Price has died

The New Orleans musician had huge hits with 'Lawdy Miss Clawdy', 'Stagger Lee' and 'Personality'

Lloyd Price, the singer of ‘Stagger Lee’ known as “Mr Personality”, has died, his wife Jackie has confirmed.

The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame honouree died on May 3 from complications with diabetes. He was 88 years old.

“I am so touched by the outpouring of love and tribute for the passing of my husband Lloyd Price, who passed peacefully on May 3, 2021 at Schaffer Extended Care in Westchester County, NY,” Jackie Price said in a statement given to Billboard.

“Lloyd’s music crossed many boundaries and carried him to all corners of the world. He got the nickname ‘Mr. Personality’ because of his biggest hit but he also earned that name because he was charismatic, generous, smart, funny, talented with a very kind heart. I am so grateful for everyone who loves his music and have precious memories of his many songs. From the deepest part of me thank you, love to all.”

Lloyd Price Muhammad Ali
Lloyd Price (centre) with Muhammad Ali and Rahman Ali in 1962 CREDIT: Getty Images

Price was born in New Orleans in 1933 and rose to fame with his 1952 single ‘Lawdy Miss Clawdy’, which featured Fats Domino playing piano. The song went on to be covered by numerous stars, including Paul McCartney, Elvis Presley, The Hollies and more.

He enjoyed a handful of further hits on the US R&B chart before being drafted to serve for the US Army in Korea in 1954. After he returned, he scored another smash hit with his 1958 single ‘Stagger Lee’, which would go on to become his biggest success, and the 1959 release ‘Personality’, which would spark his nickname “Mr Personality”.

Price also started several record labels over his career, include KRC, Double L Records, LPG Records, and Turntable. The latter also provided the name for his club in New York City. Outside of music, he owned several businesses, including a Lawdy Miss Clawdy food line and two construction companies. He also helped boxing promoter Don King promote fights, including the famous ‘Rumble In The Jungle’ event between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman.

He was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1998 and was also a member of the Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame and the National Rhythm & Blues Hall Of Fame.

Price is survived by his wife Jackie, his three daughters Lori, D’Juana and December, two sons Lloyd Jr and Paris, and his sister Rose.

Paying tribute to Price online, Stevie Van Zandt said he was a “very important part of rock history”. “He was BEFORE Little Richard! Lawdy Miss Clawdy of 1952 has a legit claim as the first Rock hit,” he wrote. “Had the pleasure of hangin with him on the “Oldies Circuit” in ‘73. Righteous cat. Enormous talent.”

The Reverend Al Sharpton added: “Saddened to hear of the passing of Rock Legend, Lloyd Price. He was a real trailblazer in music and black business empowerment. I was blessed to know him and received years of guidance and mentoring from him. A truly wise and gifted man. May he Rest In Peace and Power.”

See more tributes below.

Advertisement
Advertisement