Phyllis Hyman (July 6, 1949 – June 30, 1995) successfully broke into the music scene in the late 70s as a guest vocalist with Norman Connors musical collective. What proceeded was the release of a string of R&B and dance hits including 1979’s “You Know How to Love Me.”
After a Tony-nominated stint on Broadway in Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies in 1981 and a cameo in Spike Lee’s 1988 film School Daze, Hyman went on to release her most acclaimed project, Prime of My Life in 1991. The project yielded her first #1 Billboard R&B single, “Don’t Wanna Change The World,” and a gold- selling certification.
Hyman unfortunately didn’t get to see the fruits of her next album, I Refuse to be Lonely, as she took her life on June 30, 1995—five months before its release. It’s been nearly 17 years since her death, yet her legacy of classic and sultry balladry lives on.