Artist picture of Jon Lucien

Jon Lucien

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Jazz, soul, and bossa nova vocalist Jon Lucien was born Lucien Harrigan in Tortola, British Virgin Islands on January 8, 1942. He was best known for the 1973 song “Rashida” and the album of the same name. His smooth baritone voice was often compared to Lou Rawls and Nat King Cole. Raised in St. Thomas, he became interested in music thanks to the influence of his father, who was a guitarist. In the mid 1960s, Jon Lucien moved to New York and began performing and making connections in the local music community. Signing with RCA Records, he released his easy listening debut album, I am Now, in 1970. By the time his 1973 sophomore album, Rashida, arrived, his musical style had evolved into a bossa nova-influenced style of R&B and jazz. The album received two Grammy nominations including one for the title track. In 1974, he released the Dave Grusin-produced album Mind’s Eye. The album was well-received by the critics but the diverse styles on the album confused his label, causing tensions with the artist. Leaving RCA, Jon Lucien signed with the Columbia label and released Song for My Lady (1975) and Premonition (1976). The albums received good reviews, but Jon Lucien became frustrated with the label’s intention to move him towards a more disco-oriented sound. He left Columbia and after releasing the 1980 album Romantico, he stepped away from the music business. Jon Lucien re-emerged in 1991 with the album Listen Love, which found him returning to the classic sound of Rashida. In 1996, his daughter was killed in a plane crash and the shock and heartache inspired his album Endless Is Love (1997). After several more releases in the 1990s, he set up his own label, Sugar Apple Music, and released four albums: Man from Paradise (2002), Live in NYC (2003), A Time for Love (2004), and the posthumously released The Wayfarer: Songs of Praise (2008). Jon Lucien died on August 18, 2007.