Edwin Starr

Edwin Starr (January 21, 1942 - April 2, 2003) was a soul music singer. He was born with the name Charles Edwin Hatcher in Nashville, Tennessee.

In 1957 he formed the group The Future Tones.

He lived in Detroit, Michigan in the 1960s and recorded at first for the small label Ric-Tic, and later for the famed Motown after it absorbed Ric-Tic.

The song which began his career was Agent Double'O'Soul (1965), a take-off on the James Bond films which were popular at the time.

He recorded more soul music for the next three years before having an international chart-topper in 25 Miles (1968), one of only two of his songs still heard today on oldies radio.

The biggest hit of his career, and the one which cemented his reputation as one of the great soul artists, was the anti-Vietnam War protest song War (What Is It Good For) (1970). The #1 hit became an anthem for the antiwar movement, and is now commonly found in such diverse places as movie soundtracks and samples in rap music. (Incidentally, that album - War and Peace - featured another song of very similar construction titled Stop the War Now, which was a minor hit in its own right.)

He moved to England in 1973.

Starr continued to record music into the 1970s, most notably recording the song Hell Up In Harlem for the 1974 movie of the same name. Hell Up In Harlem was the sequel to Black Caesar, a earlier hit with a soundtrack by James Brown.

In 1979 Starr reappeared on the charts with a pair of disco hits, titled (Eye-To-Eye) Contact and Happy Radio.

Starr resurfaced briefly in 2002 to record a song with the British musician Jules Holland, singing Snowflake Boogie on Holland's compact disc More Friends.

Starr died of a heart attack at the age of 61 in his home near Nottingham.

Song list

(incomplete)


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