Leroy Burgess  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Leroy Burgess (born August 20, 1953) is an American singer, songwriter, keyboard player, recording artist, and record producer.

Burgess was a member of Black Ivory and lead vocalist on the majority of their hits in the early 1970s, he made his debut with the group as a backing singer at the age of 17.


Early life

Burgess grew up in Harlem, and his mother disapproved of his desire to become a musician.


Black Ivory was signed by small East Coast label Today/Perception, which was run by Patrick Adams, also the band's manager. Burgess frequently collaborated with Adams in writing songs.

The group scored a number of R&B hits in the 1970s, including "Don't Turn Around" (a Top 40 R&B hit released in 1969), "You And I", "I'll Find A Way (The Loneliest Man In Town)", "Spinning Around", "What Goes Around (Comes Around)" and "Will We Ever Come Together". Though they recorded several uptempo tracks, such as "Big Apple Rock", "Walking Downtown (On A Saturday Night)", "What Goes Around (Comes Around)" and, later, "Mainline" (written by Burgess, but recorded after he left the group), Black Ivory faced tough competition from the rise of disco, but proved unable to compete when disco became the dominant music style.

As a solo artist, Burgess had numerous club hits in the 1970s and 1980s including "Heartbreaker", "Stranger" and "You Got That Something". Burgess chose to move on, joining the band Aleem, which had hits with "Confusion", "Release Yourself", and "Hooked On Your Love". A 1991 release by the band titled "Running After You" received favourable reviews on release. He also continued to work with producer Adams in various studio groups. In addition to the hits he had with Aleem, Burgess was featured vocalist with Adams' groups Bumble Bee Unlimited, Logg, Inner Life (which also featured Jocelyn Brown), The Universal Robot Band, the Peter Jacques Band, Dazzle and M.O.D.E. (with whom he recorded "Heaven"), and did lead vocals on "Much Too Much" by Phreek.

"Burgess has a long and storied career in American R&B and disco".

Burgess wrote and produced a substantial number of hits for other artists as well, including "Big Time" for Rick James, and wrote and performed on the Bob Blank production of Fonda Rae's big hit "Over Like A Fat Rat". He also sang background and played keyboard on many of the productions.

He supplied vocals for the Cassius track "Under Influence", from their album Au Rêve.

Two CDs have been released containing his work with Black Ivory, one of the first album and the second, consisting of their first two albums.

Recently, in 2007, Burgess released Throwback: Harlem 79-83, followed in 2010 by Throwback: Vol.II: Sugar Hill 82-86, the first albums under his own name and most recently in 2011, Continuum, the reunion album with Black Ivory.


As Black Ivory


  • Don't Turn Around (1972) (Today Records)
  • Baby, Won't You Change Your Mind (1972) (Today Records)
  • Feel It (1975) (Buddah Records)
  • Black Ivory (1976) (Buddah Records)
  • Then and Now (1984) (Panoramic Records)
  • Continuum (2011) (SLR Records)


  • "Don't Turn Around" (1970)

As Aleem f Leroy Burgess


  • Casually Formal (1986)
  • Shock! (1987)

As solo singer


  • "Heartbreaker"
  • "Stranger"

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Leroy Burgess" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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