RIP Mr. Blackwell and Levi Stubbs

Monday, October 20, 2008
Sadly, there are a few recent deaths in the news that I feel compelled to talk about.

First, Richard Blackwell aka Mr. Blackwell, best known for skewering poorly dressed celebrities with his annual Worst Dressed List, has passed away at the age of 86 from an intestinal infection over the weekend. He first started criticizing the famous fashionably clueless in 1960. Some of his zingers through the years include these priceless gems:

Madonna: "The Bare-Bottomed Bore of Babylon."

Barbra Streisand: "She looks like a masculine Bride of Frankenstein."

Christina Aguilera: "A dazzling singer who puts good taste through the wardrobe wringer."

Meryl Streep: "She looks like a gypsy abandoned by a caravan."

Sharon Stone: "An over-the-hill Cruella DeVille."

Lindsay Lohan: "From adorable to deplorable."

Patti Davis: "Packs all the glamour of an old, worn-out sneaker."

Ann-Margret: "A Hells Angel escapee who invaded the Ziegfeld Follies on a rainy night."

Camilla Parker-Bowles: "The Duchess of Dowdy."

Bjork: "She dances in the dark — and dresses there, too."

Spears: "Her bra-topped collection of Madonna rejects are pure fashion overkill."

I'm gonna miss you, Mr. Blackwell!

And secondly on Friday one of my favorite 60s Motown groups, The Four Tops, lost its lead singer, Levi Stubbs (second from left in above photo), at the age of 72. Stubbs sang the lead on all of the Tops' greatest hits including Baby I Need Your Loving, Same Old Song, Sugar Pie (Honey Bunch), Bernadette, and Reach Out I'll Be There. Stubbs' authoritative, powerful voice ensured that the Four Tops' music wasn't the same ol' song. What I find as remarkable as his career is that Stubbs was married to the same woman for over 40 years.

Both will be missed. Who will take over for Mr. Blackwell? If only there was a place I could send my resume to...

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