Keith Wilder and his late brother, Johnnie Wilder Jr. and legendary, Rod Temperton were well known as the group Heatwave. According to OkayPlayer and in a Instagram post by Questlove, fans of Wilder found out that he passed away. Keith had amazing vocals and died at 68 years old.
View this post on Instagram
The Holy #Heatwave trinity comes to a sad close. In 1980 the (sun?) #JohnnieWilder the bright falsetto light (and harmony monster) was in a horrific motorcycle accident which rendered him paralyzed & down for the count from being in the group full time. He fought the good fight but passed away back in 2006. The Spirit of the band was mastermind #RodTemperton whose work with Heateave prompted Quincy Jones to hire him to in hopes of passing MJ some of that magic: enter #OffTheWall #RockWithYou #Thriller #BabyBeMine #BurnThisDiscoOut & #TheLadyInMyLife… not to mention #YahMoBeThere #SweetFreedom #GiveMeTheNight #BabyComeToMe @Oprah’s Theme (that clip of Carlton jamming to it on #FPOBA still cracks me up) & Anita Baker’s killer #Mystery on her Rapture album (let’s not forget his own band’s #TheGrooveLine #BoogieNights #StarOfTheStory #AintNoHalfSteppin & of course #AlwaysAndForever the best love song ever that allowed Johnnie the space to flex and show off his adlibs that remain w us to this day) Sadly til now the father #KeithWilder was holding down the fort. Actively holding the legacy torch of the band he founded w his late brother. Johnnie was a MONSTER singer whose harmony game is unmatched. No REAL singer worth their grain of salt NEVER denied his mastery. Temperton was the god not just writing “hits” (hits doesn’t always equal “quality”) he created beautiful art (even as cheesy as Thriller was supposed to be, he navigated it carefully and truly landed it as a historical landmark of a song. Damn near making MJ the Halloween king (peep Off The Wall’s intro which also attempted that challenge 3 yrs earlier). Keith sang on ALOT of my fav Heatwave joints (Boogie Nights, Groove Line, One Night Tan, & the dramatic epic Therm Warfare) he was the gruff voiced counterpart to his younger brother’s velvet smoothness. Edwards to Kendricks, Jermaine to Michael, Gorrie to Stuart, White to Bailey, Levert to Williams practically EVERY monster soul group gave you more than one vocalist to focus on. Shame that all 6 of their albums aren’t available to listen to (aye @Sony where the hell js #HotProperty!?) let’s keep his light alive & celebrate his art. rip Keith Wilder!
Sign Up For Our Newsletter!
The group was known for their disco style outfits and recorded six studio albums. Keith’s brother Johnnie wasn’t able to record the last album because he was left paralyzed after a car accident. They were responsible for many hits such as “Boogie Nights,” “Ain’t No Half-Steppin” and many more. We will continue to keep his family and friends in our prayer’s.
RELATED: Robert Guillaume Dead At 89