Deon Estus passed away on October 10, 2021, and two close friends paid tribute to the iconic musician who rose to fame through the late pop artist George Michael’s band Wham!.
In later years, Estus was part of the band Switch whose hits “I Call Your Name” and “There’ll Never Be” remain staples on radio stations today. Gregory Williams, founder/leader of Switch had this to say about his fellow bandmate and friend:
“The world knew him as singer, songwriter, musician and producer Deon Estus and I (and Switch members) knew him as my/our brother! I lost another dear bandmate/friend. When he performed with Switch, he was magic and made our sound and our stage fresh and big! Deon was incredible on that bass and always brought his A-Game to a gig, a jam session or a rehearsal. Deon was kind, thoughtful, giving of himself, his time, his money and all else that he possessed.”
Another Switch band member, Akili P. Nickson, was quoted as follows: “There are no words. I’m completely heartbroken and trying to make sense of it all. And, like the other members in Switch, we are grieving along with everyone else around the world who loved Deon. He was my brother, my bandmate and my dearest friend. The last time I saw him (after our last Switch rehearsal), we had dinner and he made me laugh so hard, I cried. He laughed so hard that he cried, too.
Deon, you are so dearly loved My Brother. By all of us, by everyone. You played in Marvin Gaye’s band and ran across a teenager named George Michael, which led you to join this little band called Wham! where you played on the hottest records and toured the world and made hit after hit after hit. When George Michael left Wham!, you went with him and continued your tear through greatness. Your bass teacher James Jamerson (yes, THAT James Jamerson) must have been so proud of you. Then, you went solo and with George Michael joining you on vocals, you had the nerve to have a bunch of hits on your own. Honestly, you two sung together for so stinking long and sounded so much alike, I can’t even tell who’s singing which parts. Lol.
Somehow, God led you in our direction and you joined Switch and I was blessed by God to get to know you.
You’re with God now and George (Michael), too. I pray that you’re staring at me right now telling me to stop crying! Lol. I love you Deon and I’ll carry you with me for as long as I’m here. I love that we always told each other the we loved each other. We weren’t too manly for that. Have a peaceful, loving journey my friend.”
Jeffery Deon Estus **July 4, 1956 – October 10, 2021
Deon Estus was a part of the R&B band Switch. Photo courtesy Switch Entertainment
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