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

News
Food blogger and Guardian writer Jack Monroe with her young son
people
News
people
News
peopleSinger tells The Independent what life is like in rehab in an exclusive video interview
Arts and Entertainment
booksPhotographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years - but he says it wasn’t all fun and games...
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
i100
Sport
Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
footballManchester City 3 Bayern Munich 2: Argentine's late hat-rick sees home side snatch vital victory
News
Muhammad Ali pictured in better health in 2006
peopleBut he has enjoyed publicity from his alleged near-death experience
Arts and Entertainment
Tony breaks into Ian Garrett's yacht and makes a shocking discovery
TVReview: Revelations continue to make this drama a tough watch
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
TV
News
The assumption that women are not as competent in leadership positions as men are leads to increased stress in the workplace
science... and it's down to gender stereotypes
Life and Style
The racy marketing to entice consumers to buy Fairlife, which launches in the US next month
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Inner sanctum: Tove Jansson and friends in her studio in 1992
booksWhat was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
News
i100
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

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property Lawyer - Cheshire

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CHESHIRE MARKET TOWN - An exciting and rare o...

Austen Lloyd: Residential Property Solicitor - Hampshire

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: NORTH HAMPSHIRE - SENIOR POSITION - An exciti...

Recruitment Genius: Gas Installation Engineer

£29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Gas Installation Engineer is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Domestic Gas Technical Surveyor

£28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Domestic Gas Technical Surveyor is req...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital