Ricky Lawson, drummer who performed with Michael Jackson and Eric Clapton, dies at 59

By Daniel S Levine,

Acclaimed session drummer Ricky Lawson, who worked with superstars from Michael Jackson to Eric Clapton, has died. He was 59-years-old.

Lawson died in Los Angeles following a brain aneurysm, reports The Associated Press. His uncle said that he was removed from life support and died at 7 p.m. Monday.

Lawson was born in Detroit and graduated from Cooley High School, reports The Detroit Free Press. He quickly rose the ranks of session musicians in Los Angeles and became an in-demand drummer for tours and recordings during the 1980s. He won a Grammy during his time with the Yellowjackets.

His drumming can be heard on recordings by Jackson, Clapton, Whitney Houston, Phil Collins and Steely Dan. He can be heard on Houston’s version of “I Will Always Love You.”

Lawson was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm following a performance after he felt disoriented following a Dec. 13 performance. Questlove Jenkins of the Roots sent a tweet on Dec. 18, asking fans to pray for Lawson.

“We lost a great man, drummer, father, brother and son. mr Ricky Lawson. He passed away yesterday. Please pray for his family. we will miss u,” drummer Sheila E. tweeted.


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