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.”
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.”
RIP Lloyd Price. 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. (Fats Domino on piano). Had the pleasure of hangin with him on the “Oldies Circuit” in ‘73. Righteous cat. Enormous talent. https://t.co/Jv1UYjassF
— Stevie Van Zandt (@StevieVanZandt) May 8, 2021
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.”
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. pic.twitter.com/TyBXPMehH5
— Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) May 9, 2021
See more tributes below.
RIP to the legend Lloyd Price who has passed at 88. He put New Orleans on the map with his early 50s spine-tingling hits. We will pay tribute to him on Tough Cookies this Saturday nite at 6pm est. Please join us. Thanx for the songs Mr Personality ♥️ adam pic.twitter.com/4yIxN6UFYF
— Low Cut Connie (@LowCutConnie) May 7, 2021
As an entertainment industry entrepreneur, “Mr. Personality” wrote smash hits, launched and owned clubs and record labels, and promoted concerts and sporting events. His talent, positive energy, tireless drive, and love of music still reverberate to this day. (2/2) pic.twitter.com/cLbGSPQkv2
— Rock Hall (@rockhall) May 8, 2021
RIP #LloydPrice early R&B/Rock n roll singer with songs such as his 1952 hit ‘ Lawdy Miss Clawdy’ ‘Staggerlee’ He also invented Don Kings signature hair style for him..
— Billy Idol (@BillyIdol) May 9, 2021
Lloyd Price was one of the great ones. RIP. https://t.co/ThU9axlhOt
— Curtis Stigers (@curtisstigers) May 9, 2021