Legendary New Jersey house singer Michael Watford has died, his son has confirmed.
The news was announced on Facebook yesterday by his son, Solomon Watford, although no cause of death was confirmed. Michael passed away on Friday, January 26.
“We want to thank everyone including the house music community who has contacted me and my family during this difficult time,” Solomon wrote. “Lastly, I will be providing all funeral information and repast details this week.”
Michael was best known for his contributions to house music singles throughout the ‘90s and ‘00s, reaching the peaks of the charts in both the US and UK.
Born in Virginia and raised in New Jersey, Michael began singing at age five as part of the gospel group Discipline Of Truth (per RA), and would later work alongside house music collective Smack Music as garage house hit the mainstream in the US.
Michael reached number one in the US charts with his 1994 single ‘So Into You’, and hit the UK top 100 with tracks including ‘Love Change Over’ and ‘Come Together’, both released in 1995.
Throughout his career, Michael released on labels including Locked On, Atlantic, and Purple Music, and collaborated with the likes of Kerri Chandler, Roger Sanchez, and Masters At Work.
In 1994, the vocalist released an eponymous album containing 10 tracks spanning house and garage via EastWest Records and Atlantic. His final release came in 2018 as a collaboration with Stefano Sorge, ‘Hey Everybody’.
Read some tributes to the late house vocalist below.
Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter
RIP Michael Watford... House music royalty.— Defected Records (@DefectedRecords) January 26, 2024
An iconic voice, and an artist who created some genre-defining records.
Sending our love & thoughts to Michael's family. pic.twitter.com/A561uTmuZw
Honoring the iconic figure of house music, the late and legendary Michael Watford. Rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/kFCJuFa4h1— Jeremy Sylvester (@jeremysylvester) January 26, 2024
RIP to one of the best vocalists in house music history Michael Watford https://t.co/itI2OhpDfw— Nick Boyd (@NicholasBoyd) January 26, 2024
Sad to hear of the death of Michael Watford. @terrystuckshop and I produced this track for Hard Times back in the 90s and were blown away by the power and strength of his voice. Rest in power Michael. https://t.co/xn2ZPEP3hR— Pete Heller (@peteheller) January 27, 2024
R.I.P Michael Watford… He had a big heart to match his voice and so much soul. Sending love and prayers to his family - His voice & spirit will be missed on our dance floors pic.twitter.com/3cbEl5LPG8— Roger Sanchez (@djrogersanchez) January 29, 2024