David Peaston, who rose to fame in the late 1980s after wowing audiences on “Showtime at the Apollo,” has died. He was 54.
Peaston’s niece, Neuka Mitchell, reported that her uncle, who had lost both of his legs below the knee to diabetes, died of complications from the disease.
Born and raised in St. Louis, Peaston taught elementary school in his hometown before moving to New York to pursue his singing career. After a string of “Apollo” wins, Peaston rose to No. 3 on the Billboard R&B chart in 1989 with his hit, “Two Wrongs (Don’t Make It Right),” and released “Can I” that same year, sending him again to the R&B top 20. His debut album, Introducing … David Peaston, was a Top 10 smash on the Billboard R&B album chart in ’89.
Though best known for his golden-toned ballads, In 1990 Peaston’s dance hit, “We’re All in This Together” reached No. 11 on the R&B charts and No. 45 on the dance charts. At the height of his career, he toured with Gladys Knight.
Mitchell said of her uncle, “He was the greatest unsung artist ever. Fabulous. A great father, husband, uncle. A great man.”
Fellow singer Cheryl “Pepsii” Riley memorialized Peaston on her Facebook page with a tribute to his talent and his friendship.
Peaston’s Facebook Page describes him as a “joyful independent double amputee.”
He is survived by his wife of 24 years, Marilyn, who was his high school sweetheart, and two sons. –kathleen cross