Stephen Tucker Walters passed on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 after an illness of brain cancer. He is preceded in death by his parents, Joseph A. Lynn, Jr. and Veronica Walters Tucker; sister, Joyce Tucker; and three brothers, Charles Tucker, Jr., Bruce A. Black and Alan Todd Lynn.
Growing up in a housing project in Millvale, Stephen first began adopting a musical prowess at the age of 14. At 16, he was leading a “James Brown Style” show called “Explosions of Fun.” It was there he befriended future Gap Band guitarist, Jimi Macon.
He developed a very eclectic taste for music. His influences go from soul and funk bands like James Brown, Sly and Family Stone and Curtis Mayfield to rock bands like Yes and Genesis to Jazz artists like Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock.
Later in his 20’s and with the help of his best friend, Jerome “Mouse” Richmond, he gathered members of some rival bands together to form Pure Essence in 1973. At the height of Pure Essence’s success, they recorded tracks for a WEBN compilation record released in 1977. The band released “Wake Up” and “Third Rock” as a single in 1976. The band disbanded in 1982 where some members moved to Indianapolis to form The Deele.
Stephen remained in Cincinnati, received an Associate’s degree in Social Work from the University of Cincinnati in 1989 and worked as a forklift operator at LSI Industries for the next 16 years.
In 2004, a popular DJ from New York named RJD2 sampled “Third Rock” for the song “Clean Living” on his album, “Since We Last Spoke.” Soon after, a royalty deal was made. Both songs were re-released on the Stones Throw / Now and Again record label. Wake Up went on to be featured in other compilation albums, “Beats, Rhymes and Life”, a documentary about the famed 90’s hip hop group Tribe Called Quest and the video game Saints Row 2.
In addition to the creative persona, Stephen will always be remembered by the people closest to him for his wisdom, wit and humor.
He leaves to cherish his memory: two sons, Jason Hill of Covington, KY and Troy Charles of Lake Charles, LA; three sisters, Miriam V. Tucker, Tracie Tucker and Kari Beth Lynn; four brothers, Mark Black of Houston, TX, Christopher Lynn, Joseph Lynn III and Philip Lynn; two nieces, Najoy Tucker and Nichole M. Tucker of Atlanta, GA; three great nieces, Janay N. Tucker, Ashley Burns and Ge’Asia Dates; special cousin, Deborah Davis; and a host of family and friends.
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