Louis Johnson, Brothers Johnson & Michael Jackson Bassist, Dies At 60
Legendary bass player Louis Johnson, who played on hit Michael Jackson records, died on Thursday. He was 60.
Louis Johnson Dies
Johnson’s death was confirmed by his nephew Troy on Instagram.
“My Dad and my Uncle Louis are the reason why I do music… Just lost a musical super-hero… Wow…,” Troy captioned a picture of himself with his uncle. “Uncle Louis a.k.a “Thunder Thumbs” I promise to keep the funk alive… This is unbelievable.”
In the 70s, Johnson founded the Brothers Johnson with his brother George. Among their best known tracks are “I’ll Be Good to You,” “Stomp!” and a cover of Shuggie Otis’ “Strawberry Letter 23.”
Johnson, an in-demand bassist, played on Michael Jackson tracks “Billie Jean,” “Dont’ Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” “Wanna Be Startin’ Something’,” and “P.Y.T.” He performed on Paul McCartney‘s Give My Regards to Broad Street soundtrack and worked with the likes of Michael McDonald, Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder over the course of his career.
“Louis ‘Thunder Thumbs’ Johnson was one of the greatest bass players to ever pick up the instrument,” Quincy Jones, who produced Brothers Johnson tracks, told Rolling Stone. “As a member of the Brothers Johnson, we shared decades of magical times working together in the studio and touring the world. From my albums ‘Body Heat’ and ‘Mellow Madness,’ to their platinum albums ‘Look Out for #1,’ ‘Right On Time,’ ‘Blam’ and ‘Light Up the Night,’ which I produced, to Michael’s solo debut ‘Off the Wall,’ I considered Louis a core member of my production team.”
“He was a dear and beloved friend and brother, and I will miss his presence and joy of life every day,” Jones added.