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Labi Siffre

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June 25, 1945 (79)

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Labi Siffre is a British singer-songwriter, musician, and poet, best known for hits like “Something Inside So Strong” and “It Must Be Love.” His career has spanned over six decades, gaining him a dedicated following and elevating his works to iconic status.

Beginning his journey in the world of music with his eponymous debut album in 1970, Labi Siffre caught public attention with “Crying, Laughing, Loving, Lying,” a poignant song that has since become a staple on classic playlists. His 1971 hit “It Must Be Love” garnered considerable acclaim, later finding a second life when covered by the British ska band Madness in 1981. Siffre’s music is a blend of soul, funk, and pop, but he has also ventured into jazz and electronic music, as demonstrated in albums like “For the Children” and “Happy.”

Throughout his career, Siffre has collaborated with a myriad of artists and musicians. He worked with musicians like Chas Jankel, best known for his association with Ian Dury; Roger Hawkins, an American drummer; David Hood, an American bassist; Pete Wingfield, a British musician; Barry Beckett, an American keyboardist; and Jimmy Johnson, an American guitarist. Notably, Eminem sampled Siffre’s 1975 track “I Got The” for the worldwide hit “My Name Is.” Beyond music, his poetry and writing have been embraced by readers and academics alike, leading to partnerships with influential writers such as Margaret Atwood and Simon Armitage.

Siffre has achieved recognition both nationally and internationally. In 2005, he received an Ivor Novello Award for his song “Something Inside So Strong,” and his works have been featured in various international music charts. His 1972 album “Crying, Laughing, Loving, Lying” was certified Gold in the UK, establishing Siffre as a powerful figure in the music industry.