Joyce Sims, R&B singer-songwriter, dies aged 63

Sims shot to fame in the late 1980s when her single Come Into My Life reached the top 10 in the US and the UK

Tributes have been paid to the R&B singer-songwriter Joyce Sims, who has died at the age of 63.

Sims shot to fame in the late 1980s when her single Come Into My Life reached the top 10 in the US and the UK.

Her first hit, All and All, made it to number six in the US dance chart and made the top 20 of the UK singles chart.

Sims, from Rochester in New York, had been touring in England this summer and had been due to release an album this year.

Her death was confirmed on social media by family members. The Guardian has contacted Sims’ representatives.

Annette Ramsey, one of Sims’ siblings, said “my heart is broken” and added on Facebook: “I will always remember the happy times we’ve shared, the love and support you have given me will not go in vain. I Love you Big Sis RIP.”

Debbie Sims Hall, another of Sims’ sisters, described the late singer as “a beautiful soul inside and out” who “will truly be missed”.

Chris Rizik, publisher of the website SoulTracks, described Sims as a “great talent who sang, wrote and played for us for more than three decades”.

He added: “The music world will mourn the passing of this multifaceted talent whose impact on music was even greater than the mass popularity that she achieved over the past three and a half decades.”

Sims, who built a loyal fanbase in the UK, went on to enjoy success with tracks such as Lifetime Love, Walk Away and Looking for a Love. Her music was sampled or covered by stars including Snoop Dogg, Angie Stone and Randy Crawford.

The BBC radio broadcaster Edward Adoo said All and All and Come Into My Life were “part of my childhood on specialist and daytime radio”. He added: “Very sad news to wake up to ... Joyce was a big part of the soul scene. May she rest in peace.”

The singer Loretta, who has performed with the Happy Mondays, Gorillaz and Swedish House Mafia, wrote “RIP Joyce Sims” along with a video of the 1987 hit Come Into My Life.

Joyce Sims performing at the Hammersmith Odeon, London, 1988.
Joyce Sims performing at the Hammersmith Odeon, London, 1988. Photograph: Suzie Gibbons/Redferns

The music journalist Pete Paphides posted: “Sad news. Joyce Sims & Kurtis Mantronik was one of the great collabs of its era: her beautiful songs & achingly open vocals + the irrepressible joie de vivre of his production. These tunes always sounded to me like puppy love played out amid space invaders machines & milkshakes.”

Stan Collymore, the former England and Liverpool footballer, added: “Happy memories of All and All on repeat on my Sony Walkman getting the bus to Walsall FC as an apprentice every morning. Thank you for the music Joyce, may you rest in peace.”

Sims had two children and lived with her husband, Errol, in New Jersey.

In an interview earlier this year, Sims spoke about her childhood as one of five siblings in a “close-knit” family. Her mother was a head chef at the family-owned restaurant and her father was a machinist for Kodak.

Sims said “money was tight” when she was a child but that her family had “everything we needed, and some of the things we wanted”.

Her debut album, Come Into My Life, was released in 1987 and the title track shot to the top of singles charts on both sides of the Atlantic. She said this year: “A lot of the dreams and aspirations I had came true when that album was released.”

Asked in the interview what she would do if she was made UK chancellor, Sims said: “I would eliminate hunger and homelessness. I would increase funding for organisations that support the poorest families in the UK. I would try to put an end to poverty and make sure that everyone had enough to live on.

“In my opinion, no one in the UK – or the United States – should be hungry or homeless. If everyone were able to have a home and not worry about food, I believe they would live a more productive life – and the world would be a better place.”


Josh Halliday

The GuardianTramp

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