SAN FRANCISCO - Former Tower of Power lead singer Rick Stevens died Tuesday morning after a short battle with cancer. He was 77-years old.
Stevens was diagnosed with cancer just three months ago and died at 3:00 a.m. according to his son and manager Clarence Maloney.
"Rick Stevens went to heaven today to be with the Lord whom he loved with all his heart. Rick was an extremely soulful singer and entertainer who had an engaging personality and a strong faith which he shared with all he came in contact with," Tower of Power bandleader Emilio Castillo wrote on Facebook. "We loved him and we'll miss him. I have faith that I'll see him in heaven someday and together we'll worship and glorify God together for eternity. Rick is there right now enjoying it!!!"
Stevens joined the Oakland based urban soul band Tower of Power in 1969. Their first album, "East Bay Grease" was recorded on the Fillmore/San Francisco record label. Rick sang the diamond hit, “Sparkling in the Sand.”
His next song to climb the charts was “You’re Still a Young Man” from the album "Bump City" on the Warner Bros. label. The song was a huge hit and became Stevens' signature song.
Stevens was arrested on February 19, 1976 for three murders committed in Boulder Creek and San Jose relating to a botched drug deal. He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Stevens was paroled on July 20, 2012 after serving 36 years behind bars.
"I remember talking with him when he was released and I was skeptical about his "prison salvation" experience. I told him that I really hoped he would take advantage of the tremendous opportunity that God had given him to help people to avoid the pitfalls he had fallen into. He went above and beyond the call of duty and carried his message of faith and redemption to many," Castillo said.