King Floyd

Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, on February 13, 1945, King Floyd scored a Number 1 R&B hit in the 1970s, when "Groove Me" dominated the radio in both America and the U.K. Floyd began singing on street corners as a teenager, eventually graduating to proper shows on Bourbon Street. After serving two years in the army, he spent much of the 1960s living in both New York City and Los Angeles, releasing his 1967 debut, King Floyd: A Man in Love, along the way. Album sales were poor, and a cash-strapped Floyd ultimately headed back to New Orleans in 1969. There, he found a mentor in Wardell Quezergue. At Quezergue's recommendation, Floyd headed to Mississippi in May 1970 to record "Groove Me" in a single take, during the same recording session in which Jean Knight recorded her own hit, "Mr. Big Stuff." Rooted in a mix of R&B, soul, and Crescent City funk, "Groove Me" enjoyed immediate airplay on New Orleans radio, which earned King Floyd the attention of Atlantic Records. With Atlantic now distributing the single to national and international markets, "Groove Me" became a gold-selling crossover hit the same year it was recorded, peaking at Number 1 on the American R&B chart, Number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100, and Number 41 in England. Another hit, "Baby Let Me Kiss You," peaked at Number 29 on the American Top 40 one year later. 1973's Think About It and 1975's Well Done failed to Floyd's commercial success, and he only performed sporadically throughout the rest of the century. Meanwhile, his music continued to be championed by other artists, with Shaggy sampling "Baby Let Me Kiss You" for the 1995 blockbuster single "Boombastic" and Wu-Tang sampling his song "Don't Leave Me Lonely" for Wu-Tang Forever's "For Heaven's Sake." Floyd later reunited with his original label, Malaco Records, for his final album, 2000's Old Skool Fund, and passed away on March 6, 2006 at 61.

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