.

R&B Singer Whitehead Killed

Philly soul man scored chart-topping hit in 1979

May 12, 2004 12:00 AM ET
John Whitehead, who recorded the 1979 chart-topping anthem "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now," was shot and killed in Philadelphia yesterday. The Philadelphia soul star was fifty-five.

Whitehead and a mechanic friend were making repairs on Whitehead's SUV on Dallas Street behind the singer's home when two gunmen opened fire. Whitehead was struck in the neck and killed. His friend, Ohmed Johnson, was wounded and hospitalized, but is expected to recover. No arrests have been made.

Whitehead is best remembered for "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now," a song he recorded with longtime partner Gene McFadden as McFadden and Whitehead. Though the two had worked as writers and producers in the recording industry for more than a decade, they didn't get around to recording a debut album until 1979. The self-titled set included the hit, which reached Number One on the R&B charts and Number Thirteen on the pop charts. A year later it also became something of an anthem for the Philadelphia Phillies' victorious World Series run.

Despite the immediate notoriety the song gave McFadden and Whitehead, their R&B roots go back into the Sixties, where as the Epsilons they toured with Otis Redding. The two fell in with the Philadelphia International label, where they were among the architects of the Philly soul sound. As producers and writers McFadden and Whitehead contributed hits like "Backstabbers" to the O'Jays, as well as inking songs for Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes, the Intruders and numerous others.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Promiscuous”

Nelly Furtado with Timbaland | 2006

This club-oriented single featuring Timbaland, who produced Nelly Furtado's third album, Loose, was Furtado’s sexy return after the Canadian singer's exploration of her Portuguese heritage on Folklore. "In the studio, initially I didn’t know if I could do it, 'cause Timbaland wrote that chorus," Furtado said. "I'm like, 'That's cool, but I don't know if I'm ready to do full-out club.'" The flirty lyrics are a dance between a guy and girl, each knowing they will end up in bed together but still playing the game. "Tim and I called it 'The BlackBerry Song,' she said, "because everything we say in the song you could text-message to somebody."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com