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LLOYD PRICE,
1933-2021

Lloyd Price, the R&B star of the 1950s who would go on to be a label owner and concert promoter and eventually inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, died Thursday at an extended-care center in New Rochelle, N.Y. He was 88.

Breaking out nationally in 1952 with his own “Lawdy Miss Clawdy,” the Kenner, La., native was at the forefront of a group of vocal powerhouses whose styles would heavily influence early rock 'n' roll musicians such as Elvis Presley, who was among the many who covered “Lawdy Miss Clawdy.”

After a one-year stint in the Army, Price returned as an artist, songwriter and label owner of KRC Records, which was distributed by ABC-Paramount.

He thereafter altered his style to a more refined, big-band sound that crossed over with pop audiences. He had tremendous success in 1959 and 1960 with “Personality,” a #2 pop hit, “Stagger Lee,” #1 at Pop and R&B, “I’m Gonna Get Married" (#3 Pop), “Lady Luck” (#14 Pop) and “Come Into My Heart” (#20 Pop).

As Price saw tastes change after his last hit, a version of “Misty” in 1963, he turned to concert and club promotion. He had a partnership with Don King to help promote two Muhammad Ali fights: “Rumble in the Jungle” in Zaire against George Foreman in 1974 and “Thrilla in Manila” vs. Joe Frazier in the Philippines in 1975. For the Zaire fight, he also co-promoted a music festival that boasted James Brown, B.B. King, Bill Withers and The Spinners.

Price’s entrepreneurial efforts would extend to low-income housing in the Bronx, a line of sweet potato products, cereals and energy bars, and a limo company.

He released his last album, This Is Rock and Roll, in 2017.

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