Charlie and Richie Ingui (Courtesy Gamble Huff Entertainment)Richie Ingui, co-lead singer of the Philadelphia pop-soul group The Soul Survivors, died Friday at the age of 70. Ingui’s brother and band mate, Charlie Ingui, tells The Philadelphia Inquirer that Richie passed away suddenly from heart failure.
“He was just a soulful singer who sang from deep within his heart,” says Charlie. “Not too many brothers shared what we shared. Our love for each other was evident to anybody who saw us together on the stage. I miss him terribly.”
The Soul Survivors are best-known for their 1967 hit “Expressway to Your Heart,” which peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. The tune was written by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, and helped launch the career of the influential Philly soul songwriting and producing duo.
Gamble & Huff have issued a joint statement paying homage to Richie that reads, “We send our very sincere condolences to Charlie and Richie’s families. Not only did they bring our Philly Sound and Gamble & Huff to the national spotlight first with the hit song ‘Expressway to Your Heart,’ but they were truly like Brothers to us. Richie was a true soul singer who sang from the heart.”
The Soul Survivors scored one more pop hit, “Explosion in Your Soul,” which reached #33 on the Hot 100 in 1967. The band broke up in the late 1970s, but re-formed in the late ’80s and, led by Richie and Charlie, continued to perform until recently.
Last year, The Soul Survivors took part in in the Marian Anderson Awards ceremony in Philadelphia, performing a medley of Philly soul tunes that included “Expressway to Your Heart” in tribute to honorees Gamble & Huff and Patti LaBelle.
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