Clarence Burke Jr., lead singer and guitarist of the sibling group The Five Stairsteps died Sunday. Burke’s death, one day after he turned 64, was confirmed by his manager, Joe Marno.
The R&B group once regarded as “the first family of soul” were the precursor for sibling R&B groups such as The Jackson 5, The Sylvers and Brighter Side of Darkness.
The Five Stairsteps’s hits included “Ooh Child”, “World of Fantasy,” and “Don’t Change Your Love.”
Burke, the eldest brother, wrote the group’s songs and arranged their choreography. He was also a talented bassist.
His song, “You Waited Too Long” rose to No. 6 on Billboard’s R&B charts in 1966.