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Five Stairsteps singer Clarence Burke Jr. dies

Posted By CAROLINE LEE, UPI.com   |   May 30, 2013 at 3:18 PM

Clarence Burke Jr., member of the Five Stairsteps, died Sunday. He was 64.

Burke was the lead singer of the band, which he and his younger siblings formed in 1965. They were known as the "first family of soul," according to the Los Angeles Times. Their name came from their mother, who said they looked like stair steps because of their difference in height when lined up by age.

They reached peak fame in the 60s and 70s for several soul hits including "O-o-h Child" and "Don't Change Your Love."

Burke was the eldest sibling of the five, and performed with three of his brothers and his sister. The group disbanded in the late 1970s, but the brothers reformed as the Invisible Man's Band for a brief time in the 1980s.

He leaves behind his wife Crystal and five stairstep children of his own, BBC reported.

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