Goodbye to Keith LeBlanc.  He was 70 years old

Goodbye to Keith LeBlanc. He was 70 years old

The drummer and producer has died Keith LeBlanc, who has worked with the likes of Nine Inch Nails, Living Colour, Peter Gabriel, Cure and many others from the hip hop world.

The news was confirmed via his label On-U Sound. No cause of death was given.

“All of us at On-U Sound are heartbroken to share the news of the passing of the great Keith LeBlanc,” they wrote on their website. “An incredible drummer, producer and maverick musician, he will be greatly missed. Rest in peace, Keith.”

LeBlanc, who began playing drums as a child after seeing Ringo Starr on television, launched his career as a session musician for Sugarhill Records in the early 1980s recording with hip hop pioneers: Grandmaster Flash And Melle Mel. He has released several singles and was a studio musician for Tommy Boy Records. He also played in groups Little Axe And Tackhead (in the latter collaborating with Adrian Sherwood).

In addition to his writing and producing work with the aforementioned artists and beyond his solo releases, LeBlanc has also been a drummer and programmer for a number of other famous names: R.E.M., Rolling Stones, Robert Palmer, Tina Turner, Bryan Ferry, Depeche Mode, Sinead O'Connor and Annie Lennox.

“Annie Lennox was really amazing. She's a real singer,” LeBlanc said in a 2023 interview. “She didn't do the automatic thing, but she went into the studio, she just hit the nail on the head right there, with the musicians. So c “It was a lot of collaboration on those occasions. She left space for whoever was playing, she was really open and kind. Ultimately, for something to be really good, it has to be really honest. There can't be something fake and good. It has to be really good. And Annie left room for that.”

His single hip hop No Sell Out“, published in 1983 and credited to Malcolm it marked one of the first uses of sample-based composition in popular music, as well as being the first hip hop song to use Malcolm X's vocals for artistic and political reasons. The song was a success, peaking at no. 60 on the UK Singles Chart and becoming the single of the week for several major music publications.

Keith LeBlanc he had his own record label with which he released music, sampling records and experiments.