Danny Sembello, a singer/songwriter who wrote a number of top twenty R&B hits, drowned in the Schuylkill River near Philadelphia early last week. He was 52.
Friends of Sembello told police that he had jumped into the river for a swim on Monday but they lost site of him about twenty yards from shore. His body was found later in the day downriver. He had been attending the Hidden River Blues Festival and police said that it appeared he had been caught in the strong currents of the river.
Sembello, the brother of Michael Sembello (Maniac), wrote a number of hits that did well on the R&B and pop charts including the Pointer Sister’s Neutron Dance, Stacy Earl’s Love Me All Up, Patti LaBelle’s Stir it Up and Jeffrey Osborne’s Don’t Stop.
As a producer, he had worked with the likes of George Benson, Atlantic Star, Jermaine Jackson and Pebbles.
Sembello won a Grammy Award for his work on the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack in 1986.
Songs written by Danny Sembello that made the top twenty:
Automatic Man – Michael Sembello (1983 / #34 Pop / #14 Dance)
Don’t Stop – Jeffrey Osborne (1984 / #44 Pop / #6 R&B / #61 U.K.)
Neutron Dance – Pointer Sisters (1984 / #6 Pop / #23 Adult Contemporary (AC) / #4 Dance / #13 R&B / #31 U.K.)
I Just Wanna Hang Around You – George Benson (1985 / #7 AC / #24 R&B / #93 U.K.)
Eye to Eye – Chaka Khan (1985 / #16 U.K.)
Stir It Up – Patti LaBelle (1985 / #41 Pop / #18 Dance / #5 R&B)
Take Your Time – Pebbles (1988 / #3 R&B)
Live It Up – Gardner Cole (1988 / #91 Pop / #13 Dance)
Always – Pebbles (1991 / #13 R&B)
Insanity – Pointer Sisters (1991 / #11 Dance / #62 R&B)
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