Lynden David Hall

Singer of 'Sexy Cinderella'


Lynden David Hall, singer, songwriter and instrumentalist: born London 7 May 1974; married; died London 14 February 2006.

The singer and songwriter Lynden David Hall, best known for his 1998 single "Sexy Cinderella", was among the soul acts who put a British twist on what is originally an African-American genre and earned respect and recognition in the United States.

Hall emerged in the second half of the Nineties and found himself part of the Nu-Soul movement. Far from being a mere interpreter like so many current R&B stars, he wrote all the material and played most of the instruments on his superb début album Medicine 4 My Pain (1997), which sold 100,000 copies. The American producer Bob Power, who had worked with Erykah Badu, D'Angelo and the Roots, recorded, mixed and co-produced several of the tracks with Hall.

Hailed in 2000 as "the future of British soul" by The Independent and compared to superstars like Marvin Gaye and Al Green for his handsome looks, lithe physique and soulful voice, Hall was nominated in the Best Male Singer category of the Brit Awards in 1999 and won a Mobo Award for Best Newcomer in 1998. However, when his follow-up album, The Other Side (2000), failed to live up to expectations, Hall found himself out of contract. Despite being diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, he soldiered on and last year released a third album, In Between Jobs, on Random Records.

Lynden David Hall was born in Wandsworth, south London, in 1974. His parents split up when he was five and he lost touch with his father for a while. As a teenager, he went through a rebellious phase and was expelled from school for fighting when he was 14. "It was all about just wanting to be real and about how I dealt with being a black man in London," he said, talking about "Livin' the Lie", one of the tracks he wrote about his bad-boy experiences:

When I was 14 or 15, I know I felt very lost and that all there was to do was to roam the streets. There was nowhere to go to channel everything that I had to see or feel. But I just sat there and

experienced some things that helped me to stay together. Music came into my life.

Hall went to live with his father and began listening intently to all the soul greats in his dad's record collection, artists such as Curtis Mayfield, Sly Stone, the Ohio Players and the Isley Brothers, a group he would later support on tour. He taught himself to play the guitar and developed a keen ear for arrangements and production which would stand him in good stead. Also influenced by Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan, Hall started to compose his own songs.

At further education college in Croydon, he asked a fellow pupil, Easther Bennett, later a member of the group Eternal, to record demos of his material. "I was just writing in those days. I didn't have confidence in my vocal ability," he recalled:

Easther told me I had a good voice and should sing the songs myself . . . I was very lucky to have her rehearse my material but she's a good church girl and didn't approve of my adult lyrics. She'd refuse to sing them, so I had to tone down some of the songs.

Hall auditioned for the British School of Performing Arts in Croydon at Bennett's behest, too. He came to the attention of the veteran manager Tony Hall (no relation). A demo tape attracted the interest of the BBC Radio 1 DJ Trevor Nelson, who signed Lynden David Hall to the EMI urban imprint Cooltempo Records which had already launched Arrested Development and Gang Starr in Britain.

First released in autumn 1997, Medicine 4 My Pain was repackaged a year later when a remix of "Sexy Cinderella" bettered the chart performances of the original version. Me' Shell Ndegéocello lent her distinctive bass playing to the track and appeared again on "Sleeping with Victor", one of two singles released from The Other Side. Hall's duet with Hinda Hicks on a cover of "Let's Do It Again", the Staples' Singers 1975 US hit, barely dented the charts in 2000 and Hall got lost in an EMI reshuffle.

He began working with Stevie Wonder's European representative Keith Harris and in 2003 was cast as the wedding singer, performing the Beatles' "All You Need is Love", in the Richard Curtis feel-good film Love Actually.

"It's the loss of a great talent, unfulfilled," said Trevor Nelson on Hall's death:

He was one of the biggest talents of his time, and ahead of his time in many ways. He was a very unassuming guy, very quiet and introverted, not your typical wannabe pop star. It's a sad day for British music but, knowing Lynden as I do, I hope the attention that this brings him will make people go and revisit his music.

Pierre Perrone

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
News
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
News
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
television
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
art
Sport
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
football
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
fashion
News
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
news
Sport
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Consultant - London - £65,000 OTE.

£65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Engineer - central London ...

Recruitment Genius: Physiotherapist / Sports Therapist

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Physiotherapist / Sports Ther...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Advisor

£8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives / Advisors are required...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Operative

£14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable