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
Associated acts

Reginald Grant Lucas (February 25, 1953 – May 19, 2018),[1] known as Reggie Lucas, was an American musician, songwriter and record producer. Lucas is best known for having produced the majority of Madonna's 1983 self-titled debut album, his production work with percussionist Mtume, and for playing with the Miles Davis electric band of 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 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, at first working as part of a production team with percussionist James Mtume. The two would later go on to 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 by himself. In addition to his own instrumental record (1978), "Survival Themes", 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, is executive director of the National Book Foundation.[9]

A longtime resident of Montclair, New Jersey,[4] Lucas died of heart disease in New York City, at the age of 65.[10][11]

Awards and honors[edit]

In 1981, Lucas and James Mtume won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song for their composition "Never Knew Love Like This Before", which was performed by Stephanie Mills.[12]


As producer[edit]

As producer with James Mtume[edit]

As composer[edit]

As leader[edit]

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

As sideman[edit]

With Miles Davis

With Carlos Garnett

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 Press, Associated (2018-05-19). "Reggie Lucas, who worked with Miles Davis and Madonna, dies". Washington Post. 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 0060898992.
  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. ^ "Reggie Lucas, Who Worked With Miles Davis and Madonna, Dies". The New York Times. Associated Press. May 19, 2018.
  11. ^ Kreps, Daniel (May 19, 2018). "Reggie Lucas, Miles Davis Guitarist and Madonna Producer, Dead at 65". Rolling Stone. ISSN 0035-791X.
  12. ^ "Grammy Award Results for Reggie Lucas". The Recording Academy. Retrieved May 19, 2018.

External links[edit]