John Miles, Singer Who Worked With Tina Turner and Stevie Wonder, Dies at 72

by Jonathan Howard

John Miles, legendary British singer, guitarist, and keyboard player has passed away at age 72.

Fans will remember his solo career by songs such as Music. However, his work with others has perhaps defined the artist more than any solo project ever did. Born on April 23, 1949, in Jarrow, County Durham, England, he was 72 years old.

During the mid-1970s, he found his success with Decca, a music label based out of the UK. He released four albums with the label and was able to send himself into entertainment stardom. His music in the United States was well received but it was home in England where he found the most success early on.

Starting in the 1980s, John Miles went to work with other artists as well. As a member of Tina Turner’s band, he toured with her for many years. He played keyboard and guitar while also providing backup vocals. He would then go on to tour with Stevie Wonder as well as Jimmy Page. As a journeyman rock ‘n roll musician, he had quite a life.

1976’s Hit ‘Music’ Launched John Miles’ Career

During his time with Decca, his song Music became a huge hit. Miles became known for his rock ballads. However, it would be that hit song from 1976 that followed him around. He didn’t mind it, either. In fact, he embraced his “one-hit wonder” status as a solo performer.

If you ever caught a concert of his, Miles was surely going to play Music. It was expected and he truly loved playing the song. His lyrics and his tone contained hopefulness and kindness that came from his real-life personality.

His management team said, “John was not only so kind and gentle but a brilliant musician and songwriter on the world stage.”

From playing in a small local band to emerging as a songwriter and performer in his own right. He didn’t have an ego too big for his own good. Many artists of his caliber wouldn’t have toured with other bands and would have insisted on doing their own thing. John Miles is one of those figures in music history that can be easily overlooked but should be celebrated to no end.

‘Music Was My First Love, And It Will Be My Last’

The lyrics of John Miles’ hit Music are especially poignant in the wake of his death. He was a performer through and through and music was his passion throughout life. Each tie he got on stage and sang, “Music was my first love/and it will be my last,” he meant it.

He could tickle the keys on the piano, shred the strings of the guitar, and belt out a beautiful love song. He added to the legacy of music’s greatest artists and made sure to notch a couple of spots for himself in the process.