Chucky Thompson, the hip-hop, R&B, and pop producer best known for his work as a part of Bad Boy Records’ “Hitmen” production team, has died. Thompson’s publicist Tamar Juda confirmed the news to Billboard: “It is with a very heavy heart that I can confirm the passing of Chucky Thompson… To anyone in his orbit, you know how generous he was with his energy, creativity and love. Both the music industry, and the world has lost a titan.” Thompson was 53 years old.
Born in Washington, D.C. on July 12, 1968, Thompson got his start playing for Chuck Brown’s go-go band, The Soul Searchers. After submitting his music to Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs, who had just been fired from Uptown Records and was looking to found his own label, he was invited to join the group of in-house producers at Bad Boy Entertainment known as The Hitmen. Combs asked him to produce a song for My Life, the follow-up to Mary J. Blige’s debut album What’s the 411?, and Blige was so impressed that he ended up co-writing and co-producing the majority of the LP, which ultimately earned him his first Grammy nomination.
Throughout his prolific career, Thompson would go on to produce hits for the Notorious B.I.G. (‘Big Poppa’), Faith Evans (‘You Used To Love Me’), Total (‘No One Else’), and Usher (‘Think Of You’). He also with artists including New Edition, TLC, Jennifer Lopez, SWV, Color Me Badd, Mya, Ice Cube, Biz Markie, Eminem, and produced Nas’ ‘One Mic’, from the rapper’s 2001 comeback album Stillmatic.
Thompson’s friend and mentee Young Guru also confirmed the news on Instagram, writing, “There is nothing I can write that will take away this pain. I have to say RIP to my mentor, my big brother, the man who changed my life forever. You were the kindest person the world has ever seen. You were the most gifted musician I have ever been around. You treated me like family from day one. You made a point to the labels that I had to fly to New York with you on every session. You put me in rooms with Biggie. I will forever be in your debt and I will forever be your little brother. This one hurts so bad I can’t even explain it. RIP @chucklife365 there will never be another you!!!!”
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