“Juicy Fruit” Singer James “Mtume” Forman Has Passed Away

James “Mtume” Forman, the singer behind 1983’s hit record, “Juicy Fruit,” has passed away at the age of 76.

Though “Juicy Fruit” is his most widely known record, thanks in part to Biggie Smalls, who sampled it for his 1994 hit, “Juicy,” Forman has written some of R&B’s biggest hits. Forman co-wrote Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway’s “The Closer I Get to You” and Stephanie Mills’ Billboard Hot 100 hit, “Never Knew Love Like This,” which took home a Grammy for best R&B song and best female vocal R&B performance.


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In the 1980s, Forman launched his own band after his Swahili name, Mtume. After adding singer and songwriter Reggie Lucas and vocalist Tawatha Agee, they unveiled their #1 record and album named after the leaving single. The album also included other popular Mtume jams such as “You, Me and He,” “Would You Like to (Fool Around),” and “Breathless.”

Mtume has contributed music to several films and television shows in recent years, including “8 Mile” and “Notorious.”

As of now, no details have been released regarding Forman’s cause of death.