Singer of R&B hits in 1980s
Vesta Williams, 53, an R&B singer who had hits in the 1980s with "Once Bitten Twice Shy" and "Congratulations," was found dead Thursday evening of a possible drug overdose in an El Segundo hotel room.
An autopsy will determine the cause of death, according to Los Angeles County coroner's officials, but they said a drug overdose is suspected.
Born Mary Vesta Williams in Coshocton, Ohio, on Dec. 1, 1957, she had hits with "Don't Blow A Good Thing," "Sweet, Sweet Love" and the torch song "Congratulations," in which she emotionally bids goodbye to her ex, about to marry someone else, on his wedding day.
Besides her solo work, she was a member of the singing group Wild Honey and was a backup singer for Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, Anita Baker and others.
Williams also had small acting roles, including on the TV series "Sister, Sister" in the late 1990s.
NFL offensive tackle for 10 seasons
Orlando Brown, 40, a 6-foot, 7-inch, 360-pound offensive tackle who in 1999 was accidentally hit in the eye with a penalty flag and missed three NFL seasons because of the damage it caused, was found dead Friday at his Baltimore home. The cause of death wasn't known.
He played 10 NFL seasons — four with the Cleveland Browns (1993-95 and 1999) and six with the Baltimore Ravens (1996-98 and 2003-05).
In 1999, in a game between Cleveland and Jacksonville, the massive tackle was struck in the right eye by a weighted penalty flag thrown by official Jeff Triplette. Brown stormed on the field and pushed Triplette, drawing a suspension.
Brown was hospitalized for six days with bleeding behind the eye. He sued the NFL for $200 million, settling the lawsuit for $25 million.
He missed the next three seasons because of the injury, returning to football in 2003.
Brown was born in Washington and played in college at Central State in Ohio and South Carolina State.
New York music historian, producer
Frank Driggs, 81, a New York music historian and producer who amassed a world-class archive of more than 100,000 jazz-related images, was found dead in his Manhattan home Tuesday. Friend and co-worker Donna Ranieri said he died of natural causes.
Driggs became enamored with jazz and swing while listening to late-night radio broadcasts in the 1930s. He later joined Marshall Stearns, founder of the Rutgers University-based Institute of Jazz Studies, and began documenting jazz history.
Reared in Vermont, where his family ran a resort hotel, Driggs graduated from Princeton University in 1952. He became a record producer for RCA Victor and Columbia and began collecting photographs and other memorabilia.
He produced numerous recordings, including Columbia Records' "Robert Johnson: The Complete Recordings."
Driggs also co-published "Black Beauty, White Heat," a pictorial history of classic jazz culled from his vast collection.
Photos from the collection have been reproduced in a wide array of jazz reference books and other publications, and were used extensively in Ken Burns' PBS documentary "Jazz."
—Los Angeles Times staff and wire reportsCopyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times