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|Origin||Crownsville, MD Annapolis, MD, and, United States|
|Genres||Pop, Funk, Post-disco, New jack swing|
|Years active||1980 - 1990|
Elektra, Warner Bros.
|Members||George Phillips, Orlando Phillips, Greg Phillips, Ky Adeyemo|
|Past members||Renee Diggs (Jul. 23, 1954 - Mar. 18, 2005)|
Starpoint was an American R&B sextet from Maryland that began recording in the 1980s, releasing a string of solid albums first on the Casablanca sub-label Chocolate City, and later on Elektra. While the band's earlier albums, especially 1980's Keep on It were more funk than R&B, vocalist Renée Diggs brought the R&B elements to the forefront with her powerful vocals which had both presence and sophistication, coupled with near-perfect pitch and very pleasing tone.
The principal members of Starpoint were Ernesto Phillips, George Phillips, Orlando Phillips, Gregory Phillips, Renee Diggs and Kayode Adeyemo. Apart from material they produced themselves, Starpoint's producers over the years included Lionel Job, Keith Diamond, Bernard Edwards, Teddy Riley.
Starpoint was originally formed in 1969 under the name Licyndiana. Kayode Adeyemo, whose parents had been immigrants from Nigeria and Barbados, was born and grew up in Crownsville, Maryland. His father, a doctor, worked with Dr. George Phillips at Crownsville Hospital. As a result, a young Kayode Adeyemo was introduced to Dr. Phillips's five sons: Ernesto, Orlando, Lloyd, Greg, and George, Jr. Soon thereafter, Adeyemo began jamming with four of the Phillips brothers, each of whom were multi-instrumentalists. After this foundation had stabilized, Renée Diggs came on board as the lead singer.
With so much musical/instrumental talent between them, the Phillips brothers each came to specialize in particular instruments within the band, with Ernesto Phillips handling lead guitar, lead and background vocals and trumpet; Orlando Phillips on bass guitar and keyboards, saxophone, and background vocals; Gregory Phillips on drums, percussion, and background vocals; and George Phillips, Jr. on keyboards and lead and background vocals. Adeyemo and Renee Diggs shared principal lead and background vocal duties, with Adeyemo also providing keyboards and occasional live bass guitar. By the end of the 1970s, the band had scored a recording contract with Chocolate City Records and had changed their name to Starpoint.
The group released their self-titled debut album in 1980. One of the singles from this album, "I Just Wanna Dance with You," became their first top 20 hit on the R&B chart. They would continue to release at least one album every year throughout the first half of the 80s, scoring several more minor hits on the R&B chart. When Chocolate City Records went out of business, they signed with Casablanca 's founder Neil Bogart's new label Boardwalk Records until Bogart died and the label folded, then they were picked up by Elektra Records which reissued their sole Boardwalk album, 1983's It's So Delicious.
Major success in the R&B/soul market was elusive until 1985, when the band released their Restless album. This album not only made them superstars in the R&B world, but it also brought them significant crossover success onto the pop charts with the Top 30 single "Object of My Desire." Co-written by band members Kayode Adeyemo and Ernesto Phillips (along with noted R&B musician/producer Keith Diamond), the tune also became Starpoint's first of several R&B top-ten hits. The follow-up single "What You've Been Missin'" followed "Object..." into the R&B top ten. The title track "Restless" was also released as a single and did decently on both the pop and R&B charts. The band embarked on a lengthy tour in support of the album, during which Renée Diggs became well respected for her explosive vocal abilities, with Greg Phillips also earning a reputation for his dynamic drumming skills which garnered many standing ovations.
Later in 1985, the band was on tour with Morris Day directly after his big screen success in the motion picture Purple Rain. The second half of the "Restless Tour" had the group touring with Luther Vandross, Isley Jasper Isley, and Atlantic Starr. At the peak of their success, Renée Diggs was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. While touring became more of a challenge for the band at this point, Diggs was determined to continue touring and recording with the band and living up to her potential. She remained with the band and persevered without sacrificing any of her exuberant stage presence.
In 1987, the band released their next album, Sensational. While the single "He Wants My Body" became the band's third top-ten hit on the R&B chart, it barely made a dent on the pop charts, and the overall success of the album paled in comparison to its predecessor. They would go on to release two more albums before disbanding in 1990.
In 1990, Renée Diggs recorded a solo album titled Oasis that was not initially released in the U.S., although it did see a release in Europe. Several of the tracks on this album were co-written by Diggs and Starpoint guitarist Ernesto Phillips. She created the Renée Diggs Foundation for Multiple Sclerosis, to help bring attention to the disease.
Other band members became involved with songwriting and session work for various other R&B artists. In 1988, Adeyemo was credited with co-writing Milli Vanilli's hit "Girl You Know It's True." Milli Vanilli's accompanying American album, titled after the hit single, also featured a song composed by Ernesto Phillips, entitled "More Than You'll Ever Know."
Orlando Phillips and Greg Phillips launched international projects which still are successful to date and have been witnessed and enjoyed by fans all over the world.
In 2000, Ernesto began working with singer-songwriter Terry Cole (Sly Boots) and signed him to his label, Longevity Records. The pair would collaborate on many tracks from 2000-2001.
Ernesto Phillips's death
On March 25, 2004, Ernesto Phillips died as the result of a stroke. The Ernesto Phillips Scholarship for Talented Youth was established in his memory and as a tribute to his efforts in helping younger children to realize their ambitions of becoming musicians.
Renée Diggs's death
Just a week shy of the one-year anniversary of the death of longtime companion Ernesto Phillips, Renée Diggs also died (March 18, 2005) at the age of 50, due to a heart condition. Her album Oasis was finally released in the U.S., posthumously.
- Renée Diggs: Lead Vocals
- Kayode Adeyemo: Vocals, Keyboards (also occasional bass guitar during live performances)
- Ernesto Phillips: Guitars
- Orlando Phillips: Bass guitar, Keyboard bass, Saxophone
- George Phillips, Jr.: Keyboards
- Greg Phillips: Drums, Percussion
- 1980: Starpoint (#62, U.S.) (Chocolate City)
- 1981: Keep on It (#31 R&B, #138 U.S.) (Chocolate City)
- 1981: Wanting You (Chocolate City)
- 1982: All Night Long (#52 R&B) (Chocolate City)
- 1983: It's So Delicious (#32 R&B) (Boardwalk, reissued by Elektra)
- 1984: It's All Yours (Elektra)
- 1985: Restless (#14 R&B, #60 U.S.) (Elektra)
- 1987: Sensational (#29 R&B, #95 U.S.) (Elektra)
- 1988: Hot to the Touch (#75 R&B) (Elektra)
- 1990: Have You Got What it Takes? (Elektra)
|Year||Single||Peak chart positions||Album|
|1980||"Get Ready, Get Down"||—||—||—||—||—||Starpoint|
|1980||"I Just Wanna Dance With You"||—||26||19||—||—||Starpoint|
|1980||"Gonna Lift You Up"||—||—||—||—||—||Starpoint|
|1980||"You're My Sunny Day"||—||—||—||—||—||Starpoint|
|1981||"Keep On It"||—||—||28||—||—||Keep On It|
|1981||"I Just Want to Be Your Lover"||—||—||—||—||—||Keep On It|
|1981||"I Want You Closer"||—||—||67||—||—||Keep On It|
|1981||"Wanting You"||—||—||66||—||—||Wanting You|
|1981||"Do What You Wanna Do"||—||—||56||—||—||Wanting You|
|1982||"Get Your Body Up"||—||—||76||—||—||All Night Long|
|1982||"Bring Your Sweet Lovin' Back"||—||—||—||—||—||All Night Long|
|1982||"All Night Long"||—||—||69||—||—||All Night Long|
|1983||"It's So Delicious"||—||—||79||—||—||It's So Delicious|
|1983||"Don't Be So Serious"||—||46||14||—||—||It's So Delicious|
|1984||"It's All Yours"||—||23||17||—||84||It's All Yours|
|1984||"Breakout"||—||—||—||—||—||It's All Yours|
|1984||"Am I Still the One"||—||—||59||—||—||It's All Yours|
|1985||"Object of My Desire"||25||12||8||7||96||Restless|
|1985||"Emotions" (U.K. only)||—||—||—||—||Restless|
|1985||"What You Been Missin'"||91||—||9||—||—||Restless|
|1986||"Til the End of Time"||—||—||64||—||—||Restless|
|1987||"He Wants My Body"||89||40||8||—||—||Sensational|
|1987||"The More We Love"||—||—||30||—||—||Sensational|
|1987||"Touch of Your Love"||—||—||—||—||—||Sensational|
|1988||"Say You Will"||—||—||18||—||—||Hot to the Touch|
|1988||"Tough Act to Follow"||—||—||81||—||—||Hot to the Touch|
|1990||"I Want You -- You Want Me"||—||9||32||—||—||Have You Got What it Takes?|
|1990||"Midnight Love"||—||—||45||—||—||Have You Got What it Takes?|
|1990||"Have You Got What it Takes?"||—||—||93||—||—||Have You Got What it Takes?|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
- 2005: Object of My Desire and Other Hits (includes singles released between 1983 and 1987)
- Greg Phillips Drum Solo-Starpoint @YouTube.com Retrieved 5-7-2017.
- "Starpoint Album & Song Chart History - R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved January 9, 2012.
- Charstats - Starpoint. UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 2012-09-January
- Starpoint- "Get Ready, Get Down" @Discogs.com Retrieved 7-8-2012.
- Starpoint- "Gonna Lift You Up" @Discogs.com Retrieved 7-8-2012.
- Starpoint- "You're My Sunny Day" @Discogs.com Retrieved 7-8-2012.
- Starpoint- "I Just Want to Be Your Lover" @Discogs.com Retrieved 7-8-2012.
- Starpoint- "Do What You Wanna Do" single @Discogs.com (released in 1981, even though it did not peak on the charts until the following year) Retrieved 7-8-2012.
- Starpoint- "Angel" single @Discogs.com (released in 1981, even though it did not peak on the charts until the following year) Retrieved 6-15-2013.
- Starpoint- chart positions @AllMusic.com Retrieved 7-8-2012.
- Starpoint- "Bring Your Sweet Lovin' Back" @Discogs.com Retrieved 7-8-2012.
- Starpoint- "Breakout" @Discogs.com Retrieved 7-8-2012.
- Starpoint- singles placements on R&B chart @Billboard.com Retrieved 1-9-2012.
- Starpoint- "Emotions" single @Discogs.com Retrieved 1-9-2012.
- Starpoint- Restless album: charting singles @AllMusic.com Retrieved 1-9-2012.
- Starpoint- "Touch of Your Love" @Discogs.com Retrieved 1-9-2012.
- Starpoint- "Tough Act to Follow" @Discogs.com (released in 1988, despite not charting until the following year) Retrieved 1-9-2012.
- Starpoint- singles placements on the Hot 100 @Billboard.com Retrieved 1-9-2012.
- Starpoint- singles placements on the Dance chart @Billboard.com Retrieved 1-9-2012.