|photo: Dollar Bin Jams|
Heard of his passing via Twitter, as posted by Chic's Nile Rodgers, who said "It's all over his fb page. Condolences to your family, brother Jimmy Castor. If it weren't for you we'd have never met Diana Ross!"
Jimmy Castor was sampled by everyone from the Spice Girls to Eric B and Rakim, NWA to Neneh Cherry and more. Hero to b-boys and breakers across the globe.
Noise11 reports that "The cause of death is as-yet-unknown, but Castor’s grandson P.J. Romain said on Twitter that his “grandfather is unresponsive at the hospital,” before breaking the news eight hours later in a tweet that said: “My grandfather Jimmy Castor died today at 2:30 on MLK day.” He was 71.
UPDATED: BBC News: Soul musician Jimmy Castor dies at the age of 71
New York Times: Jimmy Castor, Musician Who Mastered Many Genres, Dies at 71
NYT reports the cause of death was heart failure.
Wax Poetics alumni Matt Rogers has this excellent detailed timeline of Castor's life, with numerous audio/video clips, on Village Voice