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Remembering Soul Legend Donny Hathaway – inside His Life and Mysterious Death at 33

Afouda Fortune
Jul 14, 2020
10:30 P.M.

Donny Hathway was known for his musical prowess and soul rhythms. In his lifetime and afterward, Hathway was a recipient for numerous awards. Here are tidbits about the life and times of the "soul legend."

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Donny Hathaway was an acclaimed 60's musician who was dubbed "soul legend" by Rollingstone. His tragic death was announced in 1979, with suspicions that he committed suicide.

Donny Hathaway posed for a portrait on January 01, 1971 | Photo: Getty Images

Donny Hathaway posed for a portrait on January 01, 1971 | Photo: Getty Images

According to the NY Times, authorities confirmed that Hathaway had jumped to his death from the 15th floor of his Essex apartment in Central Park south. His room was locked with no other person indoors.

Hathaway was a child prodigy who sang professional gospel music at the age of 3, and because of his musical expertise, Donny got a scholarship to study at Howard University.

A monochrome portrait of Donny Hathaway on January 01, 1970 | Photo: Getty Images

A monochrome portrait of Donny Hathaway on January 01, 1970 | Photo: Getty Images

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Earlier that day, Hathaway spent his time recording music with fellow star Roberta Flack. A colleague, Edward Howard, disagreed with police speculations while sharing that Donny Hathaway was in high spirits. Howard recalled while sharing his thoughts:

"He was in good spirits...We had just left her Central Park West apartment and were back in our rooms for the evening…"

Howard added that Donny was not drunk or under the influence of drugs. Hathaway's wife, Eulalah, made it known that the soul singer was "troubled." She shared that Donny was hospitalized twice in the issue of emotional stress.

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NY Times reports that Hathaway's daughter, Lalah Hathaway, who has become a star in her own right, took the time to honor him last year. It was a splendid affair as Lalah, a Grammy winner, held a concert to perform a compilation of her father's hit tracks.

Donny Hathaway passed on at the age of 33 when Lalah was 10-years-old. Although she was a young girl at the time, Lalah grew up reveling in her star dad's memories.

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The Newyorker shares that Eulalah Hathaway married the legendary singer in 1967, and they had two children, Lalah and Kenya Canc'Libra.

Eulalah was born into music and grew accustomed to playing musical instruments. While she studied at Howard University, she met Donny Howard. It wasn't love at first sight, but the couple grew fond of each other as time went on.

A monochrome portrait of Donny Hathaway playing a keyboard, on April 20, 1971 | Photo: Getty Images

A monochrome portrait of Donny Hathaway playing a keyboard, on April 20, 1971 | Photo: Getty Images

NPR shares that Donny Hathaway, a Chicago native, was born in 1945 and raised by his grandmother. Hathaway was a child prodigy who sang professional gospel music at the age of 3, and because of his musical expertise, Donny got a scholarship to study at Howard University.

He later worked with the likes of the Staple Singers and Aretha Franklin. Donny Hathaway got signed to Atlantic records in 1969 and made award-winning music.

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