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Arthur Lassiter, born on January 27, 1928, and passed away on August 4, 1994, was a notable American singer who gained recognition for his collaborations with Ike Turner.
Born in 1928 in North Carolina, Arthur Lassiter grew up in a family of cotton sharecroppers. He started singing at a young age, joining his uncles’ gospel group.
At 14, he moved to Newark, New Jersey, to live with his mother, who had relocated there for work. In Newark, Lassiter joined the Jubilaires, performing with them.
Arthur Lassiter’s Wife
Lassiter married his first wife, Neaty Ann Butler, and together they had two children, Etta D. and Arthur F. He established Art’s School of Harmony in Indianapolis, but unfortunately, his wife destroyed it.
Afterward, Lassiter joined the US Army and served in the Korean War. During his time in the Far East, he performed at officers’ clubs and took up boxing, competing under the name Artie Wilkins, taking his stepfather’s surname.
Following his return to the United States after serving in the Korean War, Lassiter had a chance encounter in St. Louis that led to a permanent singing gig after performing at an amateur club night.
He and his band, The Bel-Airs, later renamed The Trojans, recorded with Ike Turner’s Kings of Rhythm for RPM Records in late 1955 and again the following February under the name of The Rockers for Federal Records.
Lassiter joined Turner’s Rhythm Revue and worked alongside Sam Cooke and Albert Cook. In 1960, Turner selected Lassiter to front his Kings of Rhythm, with backing vocalists Robbie Montgomery, Frances Hodges, and Sandra Harding forming The Artettes, eventually becoming The Ikettes.
However, Lassiter failed to appear at a recording session where Turner had written “A Fool in Love” specifically for him, which resulted in Tina Turner recording the track instead. Lassiter had borrowed money from Turner, which he never paid back, leading to the end of their partnership.
After becoming an active member of the Black Panthers in San Mateo, California, and studying alternative history with Huey P. Newton and Eldridge Cleaver, Lassiter moved to Hawaii in 1970.
He owned a club called Destiny in Honolulu until 1975, when he was hospitalized for 14 months due to pancreas failure.
After leaving Hawaii, Lassiter traveled to Japan and New Zealand and eventually settled in Canada, where he resumed performing. However, he and his band were deported from Vancouver, after which Lassiter performed solo in Bellingham, Washington.
In Washington, Lassiter settled down with his second wife, Thelma Lassiter, and had three children: Christine, Arthur Jr., and Lydia. He performed at numerous local blues festivals and venues, gaining a significant local following in 1980.
In his later years, Lassiter was with his third wife, Ruth Lindgren, and had two children: Miriam and Linnea. He passed away from throat cancer in Seattle on August 4, 1994.
Lassiter also had a son, Andre Montgomery (1961–1995), with his former background vocalist Robbie Montgomery. Lassiter’s grandson, Andre Montgomery Jr., later appeared in Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s reality television series.
Unfortunately, he was murdered in 2016 in a plot believed to have been orchestrated by his ex-girlfriend.
Mother Pleads For Leniency In Sweetie Pie’s Star’s Murder Case
Tim Norman, a former star of the reality TV show “Welcome to Sweetie Pie,” was sentenced on Thursday for conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire, resulting in death and mail fraud.
The charges stem from Norman’s involvement in the death of his nephew, Andre Montgomery Jr., in 2016. Norman was accused of taking out a $450,000 life insurance policy on Montgomery in 2014 and then masterminding the plot to kill him.
Three other individuals involved in the crime have pleaded guilty, including the shooter, Travell Anthony Hill, insurance agent Waiel Rebhi Yaghnam, and accomplice Terica Ellis. Norman’s attorneys have been trying to avoid a life sentence for their client.