Reggie Lucas

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Reggie Lucas
Birth nameReginald Grant Lucas
Born(1953-02-25)February 25, 1953
New York City, U.S.
DiedMay 19, 2018(2018-05-19) (aged 65)
New York City, U.S.
GenresJazz, soul, disco, R&B, pop
Occupation(s)Music producer, musician, songwriter
Years active1970–2018

Reginald Grant Lucas (February 25, 1953 – May 19, 2018)[1] was an American guitarist, songwriter and record producer. Lucas is perhaps best known for producing the majority of Madonna's 1983 self-titled debut album, and for playing rhythm guitar with the Miles Davis electric band during the first half of the 1970s.[2]

Early life[edit]

Lucas was born on February 25, 1953, in Flushing, Queens, New York.[1][3] He attended the Bronx High School of Science, but dropped out to focus on his music.[4]


Early in his career, Lucas was an R&B and jazz guitarist, playing with Billy Paul in the early 1970s and then with Miles Davis from 1972 to 1976.[5] It was in Davis' electric band (one that included Pete Cosey, Michael Henderson and Al Foster) that Lucas met percussionist James Mtume, who would later become his production partner. The two joined singer Roberta Flack's band in 1976, and toured with her for several years.

Following his stint as a touring jazz guitarist, Lucas shifted his focus to songwriting and producing, where he gained both fame and critical praise. The production team of Lucas and Mtume would write and produce hits for a number of artists, including Stephanie Mills, Phyllis Hyman, Lou Rawls, the Spinners and Roberta Flack.[6]

As the 1970s came to a close, Lucas branched out and began to write and produce material on his own. In addition to his own instrumental record "Survival Themes" (1976), one of his first solo projects was Madonna's 1983 self-titled debut album, including the song "Borderline".[7] Lucas produced the majority of the album, which sold more than five million copies.[3]

Lucas later worked with Rebbie Jackson, Randy Crawford, and The Four Tops on his own. The Four Tops' 1985 "Magic", included the single "Sexy Ways" and "Maybe Tomorrow", a duet between Levi Stubbs and Phyllis Hyman. Lucas was also a member of the short-lived group Sunfire, who released one album in 1982. Lucas produced their single "Young, Free and Single".

In 1986, Lucas founded the Jersey City recording studio Quantum Sound.[8] Clients of the studio included the Pet Shop Boys, Jodeci, Jeff Buckley and Sepultura.

Personal life and death[edit]

Lucas's daughter, Lisa Lucas, was the executive director of the National Book Foundation[9] and is now the publisher of Pantheon and Schocken Books.[10]

A longtime resident of Montclair, New Jersey,[4] Lucas died of heart disease in New York City, at the age of 65.[11][12]

Awards and honors[edit]

In 1981 Grammy Awards, Lucas and James Mtume won a Best R&B Song for their composition "Never Knew Love Like This Before", which was performed by Stephanie Mills.[13]


As producer[edit]

As producer with James Mtume[edit]

As composer[edit]

As leader[edit]

  • Survival Themes (East Wind, 1976)
  • Sunfire (Warner Bros., 1982)

As sideman[edit]

With Miles Davis

With Carlos Garnett

With Norman Connors

With others


  1. ^ a b Reggie Lucas Obituary accessdate July 20, 2018
  2. ^ Wynn, Ron. "Reggie Lucas Biography". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved May 19, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Reggie Lucas, who worked with Miles Davis and Madonna, dies". Washington Post. Associated Press. 2018-05-19. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-05-20.
  4. ^ a b "Obituary: Reggie Lucas", Montclair Local, May 25, 2018. Accessed July 15, 2020. "Reggie Lucas, a guitarist, songwriter, producer, and longtime Montclair resident, died of complications resulting from heart disease on May 19, 2018 at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. The musician, who played with Miles Davis and helped to launch Madonna’s career, was 65.... Unusually talented and independent, Mr. Lucas dropped out of Bronx Science High School after the New York City teachers’ strike of 1968 and pursued a career in music."
  5. ^ Tingen, Paul (2001). Miles Beyond : Electric Explorations of Miles Davis, 1967-1991. ISBN 0823083462.
  6. ^ Taraborrelli, J. Randy (2001). Madonna: An Intimate Biography. Simon & Schuster. pp. 76. ISBN 0743227093.
  7. ^ O'Brien, Lucy (2008). Madonna: Like an Icon. HarperCollins. p. 67. ISBN 978-0060898991.
  8. ^ "New Companies". Billboard. Nov 1, 1986.
  9. ^ Kellogg, Carolyn (May 27, 2016). "Lisa Lucas, head of the National Book Foundation, wants you to love reading". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
  10. ^ "Lisa Lucas". Retrieved June 28, 2022.
  11. ^ "Reggie Lucas, Who Worked With Miles Davis and Madonna, Dies". The New York Times. Associated Press. May 19, 2018.
  12. ^ Kreps, Daniel (May 19, 2018). "Reggie Lucas, Miles Davis Guitarist and Madonna Producer, Dead at 65". Rolling Stone. ISSN 0035-791X.
  13. ^ "Grammy Award Results for Reggie Lucas". The Recording Academy. Retrieved May 19, 2018.

External links[edit]