Syl John was a Chicago soul artist and blues musician whose music was used by many top artists in hip-hop. He passed away Sunday.
He was a fiery, fierce fighter who stood for justice in music and sound. All who knew him will be truly missed. His legacy and catalog will be remembered as exemplary and a historical model to all who have it," stated Syleena Johnson Johnson, Johnson's daughter and Grammy-nominated singer.
His family members didn't give any further information about his death, including the cause. His death occurs days after the death of his brother, blues musician Jimmy Johnson, at 93.
Syl Johnson is best known for his 1960s hits, including "Come on Sock it To Me". His 1967 hit "Different Strokes", was one of the most popular hip-hop songs. Jay-Z, Tupac, Public Enemy and the Wu-Tang Clan all included elements of the song.
His family stated that he was "one of the most listened to artists of our times, and his music served as the soundtrack to some of our most heartbreaking moments in history."
Johnson was born in Holly Springs, Mississippi. He moved to Chicago's South Side when he was a teenager, and began playing the blues guitar. In 2019, he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.
Johnson quit the music industry for a while in the 1980s to start Solomon's Fishery. This fried fish restaurant was later a Chicago-area staple.
He began his career with Numero Group, a Chicago-based archival label that released a retrospective of his work. Two Grammy nominations were given to the 2010 boxed set "Syl Johnson: Complete Mythology", which earned him two Grammy nominations.
His family stated that Syl Johnson was a music lover and Chicago icon who lived life unapologetically.
Information regarding funeral services was not available.