February has been a pretty shitty month… Jay Dee and the Big L and Big Pun anniversaries, and now the sad death yesterday of UK soul soul star Lynden David Hall, who has died after a two year battle with the rare cancer Hodgkins Lymphoma.
Discovered by the manager of UK group Loose Ends, the South London singer-songwriter released his debut album Medicine 4 My Pain in 1998. The LP delivered singles Do I Qualify, Forgive Me and breakthrough hit Sexy Cinderella. Lynden went out to win Best Newcomer at the MOBOs and a nomination for Best Male at the Brits. His death is a huge loss for British music.
BBC Radio 1 DJ Trevor Nelson, who signed Hall to Cooltempo Records in 1996, said his death was a “tragic loss”. “It’s the loss of a great talent unfulfilled. At the time, in my capacity as an A&R man, he was one of the biggest talents of his time, and ahead of his time in many ways,” he said. “He was a very unassuming guy, very quiet and introverted, not your typical wannabe pop star. It’s a sad day for British black music, but knowing Lynden as I do, I hope the attention that this brings him will make people go and re-visit his music.”
Saxophonist Courtney Pine, who toured and recorded with Hall, told the BBC News website: “I was very sorry to hear that we have lost yet another talented UK musician. “I’m sure fans and musicians will miss his great voice and musical ability.”
BBC 1Xtra DJ Ronnie Herel also paid tribute to Hall. He said: “My heart sunk when I heard that Lynden passed away, my heart goes out to his family and friends at this time. Medicine 4 My Pain was a landmark album for UK black music. It wasn’t for the glory but simply for the music, to meet him you wouldn’t know that he was pure genius. I knew Lynden quite well at the time he put out his debut album out, he was a cool, sweet guy who lived for his music and that’s how I’m going to remember him.”
Hall’s biggest hit single Sexy Cinderella reached number 17 in the UK charts in 1998, and he was nominated for best British male at the Brit Awards the following year. More recently Hall appeared in the film Love Actually as a wedding singer, performing All You Need Is Love.
In November, stars including Pine, Beverley Knight, Roachford, Shola Ama and Ms Dynamite headlined The Lynden’s Wish concert at London’s Jazz Cafe to raise money for cancer charities.