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Drummer Ricky Lawson Dies at 59

Yellowjackets co-founder also worked with Wonder, Jackson, Clapton and others

Yellowjackets (L to R: Jimmy Haslip, Russell Ferrante, Robben Ford and Ricky Lawson)
Ricky Lawson

Drummer Ricky Lawson, best known for his work with such pop and R&B stars as Michael Jackson, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins and Whitney Houston, died Dec. 23 at a Long Beach, Calif., hospital following a brain aneurysm. He was 59.

Lawson’s jazz credentials were also formidable. He backed George Benson, Al Jarreau, Quincy Jones, George Duke and the Yellowjackets, a band he co-founded. He won a Grammy in 1986 in the R&B instrumental category with that group for the song “And You Know That,” which he co-wrote. Lawson appeared on four albums with the Yellowjackets.

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