PASSINGS: Vesta Williams, Orlando Brown, Frank Driggs

Vesta Williams

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

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.

Orlando Brown
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.

Frank Driggs

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


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


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

Los Angeles Times staff and wire reports