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Thread started 01/29/20 6:31am

kitbradley

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RIP Toni Smith "Funkin For Jamaica" Singer

In spite of people saying Vesta was the best Chaka imitator, I have always disagreed with that. Maybe the second best. Toni was by far the closest to Chaka vocally. I was just jamming to Toni's songs on Tom Browne's "Magic" album last night when I was at the gym, not even realizing she had passed on the same day. sad



(January 28, 2020) Though her career was largely behind the scenes, there is no question of the impact that singer and songwriter Thomassina Carrollyne Smith, a.k.a. Toni Smith, has had on the international music scene. We’re sad to report that according to a post on her Facebook page, Toni (also sometimes called "Tonni") has died, causes unknown.

The Bronx, New York native first came to the attention of the world when she joined a latter day version of the 50s vocal group The Crystals. This led her to meet popular trumpeter Tom Browne, and they began co-writing a song that would become a classic. “Funkin’ For Jamaica” became a smash around the world, topping the charts and elevating both Toni and Tom in the music world, as they both simply tore the song up. The two continued to work together on several songs over the next few years.

With her beautiful Chaka-meets-Cheryl Lynn style voice, Toni Smith also became a sought-after background vocalist, working with a who’s who of R&B stars ranging from Stephanie Mills to James Ingram. She also provided guest vocals on several contemporary jazz hits in the 80s and 90s.

https://www.soultracks.co...smith-dies


[Edited 1/29/20 6:36am]

"It's not nice to fuck with K.B.! All you haters will see!" - Kitbradley
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Reply #1 posted 01/29/20 8:41am

paligap

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...

pray Rest in peace, Toni.

...

" I've got six things on my mind --you're no longer one of them." - Paddy McAloon, Prefab Sprout
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Reply #2 posted 01/29/20 9:55am

BalladofPeterP
arker

An absolutely superb vocalist. Sympathy and prayers to her family and friends.

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Reply #3 posted 01/29/20 11:07am

Cinny

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also "Thighs High (Grip Your Hips & Move)"

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Reply #4 posted 01/29/20 2:55pm

lool

Rest in peace. A classic if ever there was. And I never thought Toni sounded like Chaka.
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Reply #5 posted 01/30/20 9:46am

RJOrion

wow...so sad...i remember when "Funkin For Jamaica" came out, EVERYONE thought it was Chaka Khan...ive seen an interview with Chaka about it, and she said herself, "when did i record this?"...i still think Vesta had Chaka Khan's natural vocal tone and mannerisms moreso than Toni Smith...Toni sounded like she was trying to sing like Chaka Khan (not a bad thing at all), while IMO Vesta just organically sounds like Chaka...even when she's just talking..."Special" and "Sweet Sweet Love" are my favorite Vesta Williams songs and couldve easily been Chaka Khan songs... Attala Zane Giles produced those and gave her that EarthWind&Fire/The Emotions sound to sing to ...so many good times spent with those two songs playing in the background...

RIP Toni.
[Edited 1/30/20 10:21am]
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Reply #6 posted 01/30/20 10:09am

phunkdaddy

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^^^^^^^^

RIP Toni Smith

Don't laugh at my funk
This funk is a serious joint
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Reply #7 posted 01/30/20 10:26am

JoeBala

Rest in Heavenly Peace. 😢
Just Music-No Categories-Enjoy It!
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Reply #8 posted 01/30/20 10:45am

kitbradley

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RJOrion said:

wow...so sad...i remember when "Funkin For Jamaica" came out, EVERYONE thought it was Chaka Khan...ive seen an interview with Chaka about it, and she said herself, "when did i record this?"...i still think Vesta had Chaka Khan's natural vocal tone and mannerisms moreso than Toni Smith...Toni sounded like she was trying to sing like Chaka Khan (not a bad thing at all), while IMO Vesta just organically sounds like Chaka...even when she's just talking..."Special" and "Sweet Sweet Love" are my favorite Vesta Williams songs and couldve easily been Chaka Khan songs... Attala Zane Giles produced those and gave her that EarthWind&Fire/The Emotions sound to sing to ...so many good times spent with those two songs playing in the background... RIP Toni. [Edited 1/30/20 10:21am]

I never thought Toni sounded like Chaka on the original version of "Jamaica" but there was a remake of the song on a Bob Baldwin album a few years ago with Toni on vocals. She sounded more like Chaka on this particular version. So much so, I had a couple of people ask me did I know Chaka recorded a remake because they heard the new version on the radio. lol

"It's not nice to fuck with K.B.! All you haters will see!" - Kitbradley
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Reply #9 posted 01/31/20 4:24pm

Cinny

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You know even Chaka Khan thought she recorded "Fool's Paradise", so crown Meli'sa Morgan! queen

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Reply #10 posted 01/31/20 4:37pm

RJOrion

Cinny said:

You know even Chaka Khan thought she recorded "Fool's Paradise",queen



Cocaine is a helluva drug
[Edited 1/31/20 16:38pm]
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Reply #11 posted 02/01/20 4:48pm

JoeyC

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Another sad death. cry

RIP rose

Rest in Peace Bettie Boo. See u soon.
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Reply #12 posted 02/01/20 5:07pm

kitbradley

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Cinny said:

You know even Chaka Khan thought she recorded "Fool's Paradise", so crown Meli'sa Morgan! queen


I was in a record store once when some guy was talking to the owner and he mentioned Meli'sa remade Chaka's "Fools Paradise" and it sounded better than the original. I kindly butted in and explained to him same song title, two completely different songs. I dont think he was too pleased with me correcting him. lol
"It's not nice to fuck with K.B.! All you haters will see!" - Kitbradley
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Reply #13 posted 02/01/20 5:17pm

lool

OK, I just listened to a couple other songs Toni recorded in the early '80s. She definitely was serving Chaka vibes.
[Edited 2/1/20 17:17pm]
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Reply #14 posted 02/08/20 10:39am

SoulAlive

RJOrion said:

wow...so sad...i remember when "Funkin For Jamaica" came out, EVERYONE thought it was Chaka Khan...ive seen an interview with Chaka about it, and she said herself, "when did i record this?"...

yes,I too thought it was Chaka Khan lol it wasn't until the 90s when I bought an Old School funk compilation CD,read the liner notes and discovered that it wasn't Chaka singing on that song.

RIP to Toni Smith

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