2018-05-19 22:49:17 UTC
Reggie Lucas, Madonna Producer and Songwriter, Dead at 65
Lucas was best known for producing Madonna’s debut album and playing with Miles Davis
Jazz guitarist and music producer Reggie Lucas has died, as his daughter Lisa Lucas confirmed earlier today. Perhaps best known for his work with Miles Davis and producing the majority of Madonna’s self-titled debut album, Lucas also worked with artists such as Lou Rawls, the Four Tops, Roy Ayers, and Stephanie Mills. He was 65.
Reginald Grant Lucas was born and raised in New York City, where he made a name for himself as a guitar player from a young age. At 18, he was asked to join Miles Davis’ band following a brief audition. “It was real simple,” Lucas told the Fader. “Miles said, ‘You wanna be in my band, motherfucker?‘ And I immediately said yeah.”
While playing in Davis’ band, he met James Mtume, who became his songwriting and production partner. Mtume and Lucas produced music for Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway, among others. Their song “Never Knew Love Like This Before,” written and produced for Stephanie Mills, earned them the Grammy award for Best R&B Song in 1981. Lucas would go on to produce much of Madonna’s 1983 debut, and also wrote her hits “Borderline” and “Physical Attraction.”
When asked about how he felt about the impact of Madonna, Lucas said, “I think everybody involved in the arts has a tendency to take themselves a little bit too seriously. I made a great record, and a lot of people liked it. It sold a lot of copies and launched careers and created opportunities for people. And that's what you want to do. That is supposed to be the outcome of your good work. ”