He is one of the most successful soul singers. Pennsylvania is one of the states where he was born, and is one of the wealthiest soul singers. Among the most popular soul singers, he also has a place on the list. 71-year-old Russell Thompkins Jr. is one of the famous people in our database.
On March 21, 1951, Russell Thompkins Jr. was born in Pennsylvania. American soul singer and former lead singer of the rock group The Stylistics. In the 1970s, his music group The Stylistics worked with record producer Thom Bell. As a child, Thompkins was introduced to music by his father and began singing formally at school.
Thompkins was a member of a local vocal group called the Monarchs, which won a talent show at Benjamin Franklin High School against the Percussions. After a short time, both groups broke up. After the monarchs broke up, Thompkins, James Smith, and Airrion Love, along with James Dunn and Herbie Murrell from the percussions, formed a new band called The Stylistics.
Russell Thompkins Jr. Net Worth
Russell Thompkins Jr. is among the richest on the list of most popular Soul Singers. The net worth of Russell Thompkins Jr. has been estimated to be $5 million by different sources.
A regional hit for Sebring Records soon followed the release of “You’re a Big Girl Now” by the Stylistics in 1970. Eventually, the single reached number seven on the R&B charts after being signed by Avco Records. Avco approached the group about working with Thom Bell as a record producer.
He was unimpressed with the Stylistics’ audition but ultimately agreed to produce them due to the soaring high tenor voice of Thompkins. As a result, Bell tailored the group’s sound entirely around Thompkins’ voice. Many of the group’s hits were sung virtually solo by Thompkins.
Between 1971 and 1974, the Stylistics had twelve consecutive U.S. pop hits and twelve consecutive U.S. R&B top ten hits.
These included “Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart),” “Betcha by Golly, Wow,” “Break Up to Make Up,” and “You Make Me Feel Brand New.”
As with everything else in the group’s catalog, Thompkins led all of these songs (except for “You’re a Big Girl Now,” which was written by Thom Bell and Linda Creed). “You Make Me Feel Brand New,” a No. 2 pop hit, was sung by group member Arron Love.
Rise of success
As a result of Thom Bell leaving the group in 1974, the group suffered a significant setback in its American success. Nevertheless, the Stylistics released one single in 1975, which was widely successful as an early disco track, “Hey, Girl, Come and Get It.”
In the two decades following 1976, the Stylistics’ general commercial decline became more pronounced, and they only sporadically made the R&B charts. In contrast, the band’s popularity increased in Europe, notably the United Kingdom, as their U.S. success began to wane. They achieved a U.K. No. 1 with “Can’t Give You Anything (But My Love)” in 1975 thanks a lighter “pop” sound created by Van McCoy and Hugo & Luigi.
Thompkins left the group in 2000, saying he regretted not going sooner. As a result of his split from the group, Thompkins studied music formally and became proficient at the piano. Dionne Warwick originally recorded “Jealousy,” a song composed by Thom Bell and Linda Creed. Ford released a solo album in 2002 called A Matter of Style, which included cover versions of the Gershwins’ “Embraceable You” and “Jealousy.”
In 2004, Thompkins Jr., Raymond Johnson, James Ranton, and Jonathan Buckson formed a new group, Russell Thompkins Jr. and the New Stylistics. Their tour continues, and they can be seen on the DVD Old School Soul Party Live! It was part of the PBS My Music series. James Ranton left the group for health reasons, but the group continues to operate as a trio.
On Shanachie Records, Thompkins recorded an album entitled “From Philadelphia,” along with Ted Mills (original lead singer of Blue Magic) and William Hart (original lead singer of The Delfonics).
In 2022, Russell Thompkins Jr. & The New Stylistics is still performing and touring in the U.S. and abroad.
- The United States was the birthplace of Russell Thompkins Jr.
- Russell Thompkins Jr. was born under the sign of Aries.
- A Matter of Style, his solo album released in 2002, featured a cover version of Gershwin’s Embraceable You.
- As a member of Raymond Johnson, James Ranton, and Jonathan Buckson, Thompkins Jr. formed Russell Thompkins Jr. and the New Stylistics in 2004. In addition to touring, the band appears on the DVD Old School Soul Party Live! The DVD was part of the PBS My Music series. A health issue led to James Ranton leaving the group, but the group continues as a trio.
- His father was a musician in Philadelphia, where he grew up.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Russell Thompkins left the original Stylistics for what reason?
Eventually, Thompkins says he’s had enough, and the bubble bursts. It wasn’t worth the fighting and tension. If you like the people you’re working with, you can make music with them. As a result of my sadness, I lost my voice, not my speaking voice but my falsetto singing voice.
How is Boney M doing these days?
Even though Bobby Farrell, the group’s founding father, passed away recently, Boney M. continues to tour with their original singers after a long hiatus.
How did The Stylistics’ original singer end up?
Russell Thompkins Jr was the lead singer of the soul group The Stylistics in the 70s, whose hits included Can’t Give You Anything (But My Love), I’m Stone In Love With You and You Make Me Feel Brand New. Russell Thompkins Jr & The New Stylistics continue to perform today as Russell Thompkins Jr & The New Stylistics.
What caused the original Stylistics to break up?
The pressures the Stylistics subjected to Russell forced him to quit after 33 years. In addition, he lost his beautiful falsetto voice. As a result of Russell’s rest, his vocal gift returned after about a year.