American funk and jazz keyboardist Bernard Wright, who was the godson of legendary singer Roberta Flack, has died at the age of 58.
In a post on Friday night, his heartbroken family confirmed the sad news on social media.
They wrote: ‘On behalf of the family of Bernard Wright (Nard), We are saddened to announce that yesterday Bernard has been called home to the Most High.
‘Many thanks for everyone’s support, encouragement, and prayers for Nard throughout the years. Please keep the family in your thoughts and prayers through this difficult time.
‘Our hearts are heavy and our faith is strong. To be absent from the body is to be present with The Lord! LOVE! Rest In Power, Nard.’
He was very close to legendary singer Flack, 85, who sings Killing Me Softly and The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.
Grammy Award winner Flack tweeted her heartbreak at the news: ‘Last night, my godson and former musical director, Bernard Wright, passed away suddenly.
‘I loved Bernard very much and believed deeply in his talent. His loss is heartbreaking.’
The talented star toured with Lenny White when he was just 13 years old, and he performed with Tom Browne in 1979
He signed with record label GRP in 1981 and released his debut LP, Nard in the same year, when he was just 18 years old.
Tracks from Nard were prominently sampled in hits by Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Skee-Lo, and LL Cool J.
He followed with Funky Beat in 1983 and Mr. Wright in 1985. The latter of these albums included his biggest R&B appearance, Who Do You Love.
Wright has also appeared on recordings by musicians such as Miami Mike Devine Pennington, Doug E. Fresh, Cameo, Bobby Brown, Pieces of a Dream, Charles Earland, Marcus Miller, and Miles Davis.
As well as singing, Wright played the keyboards, synthesiser, piano, and melodica.
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