Numerous fans took to social media and several radio DJs played on-air musical tributes last month in paying homage to 1980s-’90s chart-topping singing sensation/songwriter Joyce Sims, 63, who passed on Oct. 13 at her Los Angeles home.
Joyce Elizabeth Sims-Sandiford was born Aug. 6, 1958, in Rochester, N.Y. She played drums and piano as a child, and studied music in college. She was one of five siblings in a close-knit family. Her father was a machinist for Kodak, and her mother was a head chef at their family-owned restaurant.
“Sad news. Joyce Sims & Kurtis Mantronik was one of the great collabs of its era: her beautiful songs & achingly open vocals + the irrepressible joie de vivre of his production,” noted music journalist Pete Paphides Nb. “These tunes always sounded to me like puppy love played out amid space invaders machines & milkshakes.”
Sims signed with Sleeping Bag Records, and under the tutelage of house music producer Kurtis Mantronik, released the single “(You Are My) All and All” in 1986, which reached No. 16 on the U.K. Singles Chart and No. 6 on the U.S. Dance Chart. Her 1987 follow-up single, the Mantronik-produced “Come Into My Life,” reached the top 10 on the U.S. Billboard R&B Chart and the U.K. Singles Chart, pushing the same-named album to certified Gold status.
“A lot of the dreams and aspirations I had came true when that album was released,” Sims said earlier this year.
She wrote all the songs on the album except “Love Makes a Woman.” Some of her popular tracks were “Lifetime Love,” “Walk Away” and “Looking for a Love.”
She released her second album, “All About Love,” in 1989, which hit No. 64 on the U.K. Albums Chart, and continued releasing memorable albums throughout the next couple decades, including 2009’s “Come into My Life: the Very Best of Joyce Sims,” a double-CD of her greatest hits and remixes. That same year, she established her own record label, August Rose Records, and released albums “Wishing You Were Here” and “Back in Love Again.”
She’s been recorded or sampled by Randy Crawford, Angie Stone and Snoop Dogg.
“My heart is broken,” her sister Annette Ramsey said on Facebook. “I will always remember the happy times we’ve shared, the love and support you have given me will not go in vain. I Love you Big Sis RIP.”
Another sibling, Debbie Sims-Hall, described her as “a beautiful soul inside and out” who “will truly be missed.”
SoulTracks website’s publisher, Chris Rizik, described Sims as a “great talent who sang, wrote and played for us for more than three decades. The music world will mourn the passing of this multifaceted talent whose impact on music was even greater than the mass popularity that she achieved over the past three and a half decades.”
Sims was also a humanitarian: “In my opinion, no one in the U.K.—or the United States—should be hungry or homeless. If everyone were able to have a home and not worry about food, I believe they would live a more productive life—and the world would be a better place.”
Sims had been touring in the U.K. earlier this summer and was planning on releasing an album at the end of this year. She has two children and lived with her husband, Errol, in New Jersey.