Robert Ayers
November 27, 2023
11:35 pm

Singer Jean Knight passes away at 80 years old

Jean Knight, the singer known for her recording of Mr. Big Stuff, has died at the age of 80. 

Knight, according to People magazine, died in New Orleans on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2023, from natural causes. No further information has been provided about her passing.

Knight's family announced her death in a lengthy statement that it released on Sunday.

The family wrote:

New Orleans and the music world mourns the loss of one of its most treasured, musical daughters, Jean Knight. She departed this world on November 22, 2023, at the age of 80.

Knight's passing has also been confirmed, according to Rolling Stone, by Bernie Cyrus, the executive director of the Louisiana Music Commission and a longtime friend of Knight.

Probably more than any other song, Knight is known for Mr. Big Stuff, a 1970s funk-era hit.

"The song held for five weeks at number on the Billboard’s R&B charts, crossing over to peak at number on the Pop Charts. The record stayed on both charts for 16 weeks," Deadline reports.

The outlet adds, "Mr Big Stuff went double platinum, selling over two million records. Knight was nominated for a Grammy for the single. Over the years, the single featured prominently in countless films and TV shows, such as Spike Lee’s Crooklyn, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Simpsons, and The Deuce."

From New Orleans, Louisana, Knight began singing, publicly, after graduating from high school. This gained her recognition, and, by 1965, she recorded her first song, Jackie Wilson's Stop Doggin' Me Around. 

This recording earned Knight a contract with the Jet Star/Tribe record label. It was roughly five years later that Knight recorded Mr. Big Stuff with Stax Records.

Knight would go on to make recordings for several other labels, but none garnered the success that Mr. Big Stuff did. Some of her other well-known recordings include (Don't Mess With My Toot Toot, Bill, Carry On, and others.

In 2007, Knight was inducted into the Louisiana Music Commission Hall of Fame.

In their statement, Knight's family wrote:

Jean Knight's legacy is not just a musical one; it is a testament to the enduring love between an artist, her hometown, and the fans who adored her. As we bid farewell to this iconic soulstress, New Orleans and her global fan base join together in gratitude for the indelible mark she left on the world.

The family asked for "privacy during this difficult time" and it expressed its "heartfelt gratitude for the love and support from fans."

Written By:
Robert Ayers

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