The music industry is mourning the passing of R&B singer/bassist Michael Henderson. Henderson was admitted to Emory University Hospital for an undisclosed illness and never recovered. He was 71. Henderson lit up the R&B charts with “You Are My Starship” and other hits in the 1970s and 1980s. His career began purely as a musician. Stevie Wonder met him in Chicago and was impressed with his playing ability and hired Henderson. Touring with Stevie Wonder brought Henderson to the attention of jazz musician Miles Davis, leading Henderson to play on some of Davis’ most revered fusion albums of the 1970s. Henderson became a sought-after musician, and he continued to play with Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye and Doctor John. But to R&B fans Henderson was a crooner who topped the charts on his own, and with duet partners Phyllis Hyman and Jean Carne and as a guest vocalist with Norman Connors. Henderson’s vocals on Connors’ “You Are My Starship” created one of the most revered soul ballads of all time, and his tantalizing duets with Carne (“Valentine Love”) and Hyman (“Can’t We Fall In Love Again”) are Quiet Storm classics. Henderson also scored some major R&B hits as a solo artist. The midtempo “Take Me I’m Yours” was a top 5 smash in 1978, and the even bigger “Wide Receiver” reassured R&B fans of his funk credentials. After eight albums and nearly a dozen R&B hits, Henderson stopped recording by the end of the 1980s, but his songs lived on, many of which were covered or sampled by other artists for three decades. Henderson continued to perform on his own and in support of other artists after his Imperial Period as a recording artist was done, and his legacy as a vocalist and pioneering bassist only grew with time. The music he left behind will last forever. May he rest in peace.