Singer David Peaston, who had a string of R&B hits in the late 1980s and early 1990s, died Wednesday of complications from diabetes. He was 54.
Peaston was born into a St. Louis family with deep musical roots. His mother, gospel singer Martha Bass, was one of the Clara Ward Singers. His older sister, Fontella Bass, is a noted singer whose single “Rescue Me” reached No. 1 on R&B charts and No. 4 on pop single charts in 1965.
Peaston’s highest-charting song was “Two Wrongs (Don’t Make It Right),” which reached No. 3 on the Billboard R&B chart in 1989. “Can I?” got to No. 14 on the R&B chart that year, and “We’re All in This Together” reached No. 11 R&B and No. 45 on the dance charts in 1990. His first album, “Introducing … David Peaston,” reached No. 7 on the Billboard R&B album chart in 1989. At the height of his career, he toured with Gladys Knight.
Peaston earned a degree in elementary education and taught in his hometown of St. Louis before moving to New York to pursue a career as a singer. He began doing session gospel and R&B work. His career got a big boost after winning several competitions on the “Showtime at the Apollo” television show in the late 1980s, winning over fans and the judges with his powerful rendition of “God Bless the Child.”
Despite a rich tenor voice that awed fans, crossover success eluded Peaston.
Both of Preston’s legs were amputated below the knees due to diabetes.
Survivors include his wife of 24 years, Marilyn, and two sons.