Curtis Hairston

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Curtis Hairston
Birth nameCurtis Kinnard Hairston
Born(1961-10-10)October 10, 1961
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States
DiedJanuary 18, 1996(1996-01-18) (aged 34)
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States
GenresR&B, funk, soul
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter
Years active1980–1995
LabelsPretty Pearl Records, Atlantic, Reverse Spin Entertainment,
Associated actsLuther Vandross, B. B. & Q. Band, Madonna, Richard Marx, Whitney Houston, Change

Curtis Kinnard Hairston[1] (October 10, 1961 – January 18, 1996)[2] was an American soul/funk vocalist, who had a number of Top 75 hit singles in the UK and US, both as a solo artist and as a featured artist in the B. B. & Q. Band. Hairston's signature hit came in 1985, when he reached No. 13 in the UK Singles Chart with "I Want Your Lovin' (Just a Little Bit)".[2]

A longtime sufferer of diabetes, Hairston died of related kidney failure at age 34 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in January 1996.[1][3] He had attended both Winston-Salem State University and the Juilliard School of Music.


Curtis Hairston had wanted a career in music since he was around 13. After completing his education at the Juilliard School of Music in 1980, he immediately started to search for record label contracts. It just so happened, that at the same time; old school friend Earl Monroe had formed a label called Pretty Pearl. Curtis got in contact, and eventually struck a contract deal with Earl.[1]

His debut single in 1983 was "I Want You (All Tonight)". The track proved moderately successful peaking at No. 35 on the US Billboard Dance charts, and No. 44 in the UK Singles Chart.[4] In 1984, he did a cover version of Jimmy Cliff's "We All Are One", which became his first Billboard R&B chart hit, reaching No. 72. Curtis had his first major hit in 1985 with "I Want Your Lovin' (Just a Little Bit)" which peaked at No. 13 on the UK Charts.[4] The song's success led to an appearance on British music show Top of the Pops, and a music video was also made.[1]

Curtis also provided lead vocals on the majority of tracks from the B. B. & Q. Band's 1985 LP Genie.[5] The album proved successful in the UK, with the song "Dreamer" becoming a top 40 hit,[6] however Curtis remained uncredited for this act.[1]

In 1986, he left Pretty Pearl records and signed on to the much more mainstream label, Atlantic Records. The same year he released first and only studio album. One of the tracks "Chillin Out" got to No. 57 in the UK.[4] Additionally, singer Luther Vandross provided backing vocals on some of the songs included with his debut album. Curtis released his last solo single "The Morning After" in 1987.[1]

In 1990, Hairston collaborated with the jazz group Ready For Reality. After his death in 1996 from kidney failure, in remembrance and tribute to him, Reverse Spin Music released a greatest hits album entitled Celebrating Curtis Hairston. The compilation included some unreleased songs which he recorded before he passed away.



  • Curtis Hairston (1986)


  • Celebrating Curtis Hairston (2012)


Year Song U.S. R&B[7] U.S. Dance[7] UK[4]
1983 "I Want You (All Tonight)" 35 44
1984 "We All Are One" 72
1985 "I Want Your Lovin' (Just a Little Bit)" 76 48 13
1986 "Let's Make Love Tonight"
"Take Charge"
"Chillin Out" 57
1987 "(You're My) Shining Star" 71
"The Morning After" 80


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Curtis Hairston Page". Retrieved March 17, 2009. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 239. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  3. ^ Curtis Hairston at AllMusic. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d "CURTIS HAIRSTON - full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 4, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "The History of B. B. & Q. Band". Retrieved July 9, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "BB&Q | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved May 8, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ a b "Curtis Hairston Top Songs / Chart Singles Discography". Music VF. Retrieved July 9, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

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