The late Jackie “Mr. Excitement” Wilson will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at an upcoming ceremony.
Rana Ghadban, president and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, will award the star on September 4 to John Wilson, Jackie Wilson’s son. Harlene Harris Wilson, his widow, died in August.
They will accept the star during a ceremony during which Barry Gordy Jr., founder of Motown Records, Marshall Thompson of the Chi-Lites, and William “Smokey” Robinson, who has a star on the Walk of Fame, will attend and speak.
Born June 9, 1934 in Detroit, Jackie Wilson began singing withthe Ever-Ready Gospel Singers.
He launched his solo career in November 1957, singing the Gordy’s song “Reet Petite (The Finest Girl You Ever Want To Meet).” From 1958 to 1970, Wilson had 24 top forty singles, recorded on the Brunswick Label.
Known as “Mr. Excitement,” Mr. Wilson captivated the audience with his vocal range and his exciting moves on stage. His hits included “Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher and Higher,” “Lonely Teardrops” and “Baby Workout.” In his campaign for President, Barack Obama used “Higher and Higher” as his campaign theme song.
As his career slowed, he continued to perform on the oldies circuit, until tragedy struck. He suffered a heart attack on September 29, 1975, during an oldies revue at New Jersey’s Latin Casino hosted by Dick Clark. He died January 21, 1984 from pneumonia. Wilson was 49.