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Unfortunately, despite their success as one of the leading funk bands of the 70′s and after recording one of the most enduring love songs of all time, Heatwave was plagued with tragedy. Not one, but two band members were stabbed (one fatally) and lead singer and founder Johnnie Wilder, Jr., was paralyzed from the  neck down in a car accident and spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair. The  band’s full story was told on the TV One show “Unsung,” and remarkably, given his biggest hit, his wife stayed by his side for the next two decades until his death in 2006.

“Always and Forever” has been covered by numerous artists, most successfully by Luther Vandross in 1994, earning him a Grammy nomination.

Your #1 Favorite R&B Love Song Is…..  was originally published on

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