Hearts are heavy this morning as we confirm that Kashif was found dead this morning in his Los Angeles home. He was 56. A Brooklyn-born orphan who mastered synthesizers just at the onset of r&b’s transition from organics to electronics, Kashif, born Michael Jones, struck early success with B.T. Express and Evelyn Champagne King, touring with Stephanie Mills before launching a solo career with 1983’s self-titled debut.
His biggest credits, however, came with Whitney Houston‘s early-eighties arrival, playing a pivotal role on her 17x platinum debut album — writing “You Give Good Love” and “Thinking About You” — also contributing to her follow-up, Whitney. Along with Stevie Wonder, Kashif redefined the textures of r&b and pop, setting the stage for an entirely new guard. He went on to write and record with Dionne Warwick, George Benson and the gamut of luminary voices that characterized the 80’s newly-electrified feel.
At the moment, his family has only spoken via Twitter, confirming the legend’s death, but our hearts are with them as they process this loss. RIP, Kashif. Your glow is everlasting.