OBITUARIES: Manager Steve Richards Dead At 36

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Steve Richards, the founder of No Name Music and former manager of Slipknot and Mudvayne and manager of Hatebreed, American Head Charge, Motograter, Sworn Enemy, Index Case, Split Shift, Boom Boom Satellites and others, passed away on March 21 after a long battle with brain cancer. He was 36.

Hatebreed has canceled out of the first two dates of the "Headbanger's Ball Tour" due to the death of Richards. "This past Sunday, March 21st, we all lost a very special person, a visionary and a true music guy, Steve Richards, our manager, the founder of No Name Worldwide," Hatebreed posted on its website. "He was many things to many people, a soul mate, mentor, leader, confidante, brother, and son. His spirit will continue to inspire the ones he blessed with his amazing passion he had for living life."

"We would not be where we are today if it wasn't for Steve." continued the post. "He helped us when no one else would, and we loved him like a brother. May he Rest In Peace."

A foundation in Richards' name to fight cancer has been set up: The Steve Richards Foundation, 2934 ½ Beverly Glen Circle, Bel Air, CA 90077 c/o Gary Richards.

–Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen

Ex-Motown Producer, Writer, Singer Johnny Bristol Dies

BRIGHTON TOWNSHIP, Michigan (AP) — Former Motown records producer, writer and singer Johnny Bristol, who worked with Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye, has died. He was 65.

Bristol died Sunday morning at his Livingston County home, about 40 miles west of Detroit. He apparently died of natural causes, state police said, and results of an autopsy Monday were not immediately available.

Born in Morgantown, N.C., he recorded "Someday We'll be Together" with singing partner Jackie Beavers in 1961. Bristol later sang background vocals on the Supremes' 1969 hit version of the song.

Bristol also produced or wrote for Smokey Robinson, Martha Reeves, the Four Tops and Junior Walker. He left Motown in 1973 and recorded albums with MGM and Atlantic in the 1970s.

"He was my best friend. He was a great guy. He was an honorable guy," said Billy Wilson, president of the Motown Alumni Association.

Bristol married and divorced Iris Gordy, niece of Motown founder Berry Gordy. He is survived by son Johnny Bristol Jr. of Battle Creek and daughters Karla Gordy Bristol of Atlanta and Shanna Mueller of Wayne County's Canton Township.

The Swanson Funeral Home in Detroit said funeral arrangements were incomplete Monday afternoon. Wilson said Bristol would be buried next to his father in Morgantown.

J.J. Jackson, Original MTV 'VJ,' Dies

LOS ANGELES (AP) — John 'J.J.' Jackson, who in the 1980s helped usher in the music video era as one of the first MTV on-air personalities, has died. He was 62.

Jackson, a longtime radio station disc jockey, died of an apparent heart attack Wednesday while driving home from dinner in Los Angeles, friends and radio industry colleagues said Thursday.

"I talked to him like two days ago. J.J. was in a great place," said Mark Goodman, a longtime friend who also worked with Jackson as a 'VJ' when MTV launched in 1981. "It's incredible, so incredibly sad it happened like this."

In a statement, MTV said Jackson's love of music and good humor helped set the tone for the cable music network in its formative years.

"He was a big part of the channel's success and we are sure he is in the music section of heaven, with lots of his friends and heroes," the statement said. "He will be greatly missed."

Jackson's career in broadcasting began in radio. He first gained prominence while working at WBCN in Boston in the late 1960s, then moved in 1971 to Los Angeles where he took on the afternoon radio slot at KLOS.

In the late '70s, he worked as a music reporter for KABC-TV, then it was off to New York and MTV, where his musical knowledge, hewn over years in radio, helped ease his transition to a new format for music, Goodman said.

"It was a great experience for him. He came in already knowing and being successful," Goodman said. "We were all thrust into the spotlight and he was able to take the things that happened at MTV with stride."

After five years at MTV, Jackson returned to radio in Los Angeles, including a stint hosting a nationally syndicated show on the Westwood One Radio Network. Most recently, he was hosting an afternoon slot at Los Angeles' KTWV.

"All of us at The Wave (KTWV) are saddened by the news about J.J.," said Samantha Wiedmann, assistant program director for KTWV. "He was a warm, kind person whose track record in the industry speaks for itself."

Goodman said Jackson had been divorced for some time. He had a daughter and two grandchildren in the Bahamas, Goodman said.

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