As reported by the BBC and other UK media outlets this morning Errol Brown - the lead singer with the popular UK-based soul group Hot Chocolate - has died from liver cancer at his home in the Bahamas. He was 71.
Errol Brown's powerful voice drove such Hot Chocolate hits as "You Sexy Thing," "Emma," "It Started with a Kiss," "Brother Louie," and "Every 1's a Winner" during the group's heyday throughout the '70s and up through the middle of the '80s. In fact, Hot Chocolate holds the distinction of being the only group in the UK to have racked up a top 40 hit singles for 15 consecutive years during that time frame (1970 - 1984). Twelve years ago, Errol Brown was made an MBE by the Queen for his contributions to the British music arts. And the following year he received an Ivor Novello award for his "outstanding contribution to British music."
Of all the hits that Brown and Hot Chocolate are associated with, "You Sexy Thing" (which Brown co-wrote) remains their best known song of all, one that had enjoyed a few lifespans. It was a Top 10 hit single in the 1970s, and again in the 1980s, and then again in the 1990s when it appeared in the soundtrack for the 1997 film The Full Monty and on its accompanying soundtrack. Meantime, the Hot Chocolate song perhaps most personal for the Jamaican-born Brown, who moved with his single mother to the UK at the age of 12, was the group's 1974 hit "Emma," which reportedly was written about his mom who died from cancer at the young age of 38 when Brown was only 20 years old. Music videos for both "Emma" and "You Sexy Thing" appear below.
In 2009, Errol Brown performed for the last time at his career farewell tour in the UK. At the time he told the BBC that he was most satisfied with his music career and all he had done in life but was glad that he was officially retired once that tour ended. He told the BBC that even though he would never perform again, "the music will be there, so that won't go away!" Look for Errol Brown/Hot Chocolate releases, such as the 2012 released collection You Sexy Thing: The Best of Hot Chocolate, from Amoeba's online store.
This is how we.......... yaaawn.... sssstretch.... roll.
It was our final day in Las Vegas, and Corey and I were determined to sleep through as much of it as possible. Corey is more gifted in late mornings than I, so he was impressed and pleased when my peepers didn’t pop until after eleven o’clock, ante meridiem.
We ordered room service. I had the same, slimy oatmeal mentioned previously in my blog, but this time I had it in the luxury of our suite, so okay! Everything tastes better when you have live footage of a shark tank playing on wide-screen TV.
"I'm only working The Strip to put myself through college."
Our only real schedule obligation was to vacate the room long enough for the maids to magically transform it to its virginal state. While we wandered into the lobby, wondering where we’d walk, we fortunately stumbled into a serious conversation about some dynamics in our relationship. So we sat down at a patio table outside and proceeded to communicate, sincerely.
Not only did this help illuminate certain things for each other, but it totally kept us occupied long enough for housekeeping to complete, so, once we were satisfied we understood each other, we returned to the room to continue doing as little as possible. It was a success.
That night was The Advocate’s party at Ivan Kane's Forty Deuce, Mandalay Bay’s burlesque club, which, every Monday night (as it was) hosts “Stormy Mondays” – a male burlesque show.
As Corey was one of the hosts, we were on hand ahead of time to panic and prepare, which we did, more or less in that order. I observed the go-go boys practice their routines - so bored looking, so distracted without the throngs of gay dudes and fag-hags clamoring to pad their g-strings with greenbacks. It was a very heterosexual moment for me. I started drinking scotch.