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

Life and Style
Social media users in Mexico who commented on cartel violence have been killed in the past
techTweets not showing up or loading this morning, users say
Sport
premier leagueLive: All the latest news and scores from today's matches
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
News
politics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
News
Shami Chakrabarti
people
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites Star Wars 7 rumours
Sport
football
News
news
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

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker