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R&B Singer David Peaston Dies at 54

The singer, known for his performances at "Showtime at the Apollo," died the same day as "Soul Train" founder Don Cornelius' death.

NEW YORK -- It's been an unfortunate week for R&B and soul. Yesterday -- on the same day as Soul Train founder Don Cornelius' death -- R&B/gospel singer, David Peaston, died at 54 years old.

Peaston's cause of death is inconclusive, according to St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Peaston battled with diabetes and had both of his legs amputated, starting with his right leg in 2004. In an interview with Post-Dispatch, Peaston expressed disappointment in himself over his illness.

"I didn't want to be back in the public. I wasn't embarrassed or ashamed, but I felt I let myself down and, therefore, I let everyone else down. It was my fault for being sick, and I didn't want anybody to see me like that," Peaston said.

Peaston's friend, singer, Cheryl Pepsii Riley, shared her condolences on Facebook via News One.

"I'm so saddened by the news, my friend David Peaston has passed. This hurts so much. He had an Incredible Voice and the Best sense of Humor!  David Peaston and I were the only secular artists doin Gospel plays in the beginning. I first met him on the show "Momma Don't". And then we did Several other shows together, So we became Road Dawgs! :-) We could not see each other for years and get together... and it be like we just saw each other the day before. Just picked up from where we left off. He was such a Beautiful person. So much Fun, and a Really Good Man! Such a Talent, but even more than that, He was a Friend! My Dear, Crazy, Wonderful, David... Or Unka Peasters as I called him... and he called me Tabby (from a show we did and I played his daughter), You Will Be Missed and I Shall NEVER EVER Forget You! RIP DAVID PEASTON, I Love You!

Peaston was inspired by his mother, Martha Bass, and his sister, Fontella Bass, who were both gospel singers. After being laid off as a teacher in 1981, Peaston moved to New York to pursue music. Quickly thereafter, Peaston signed to Geffen and toured with Gladys Knight. Peaston is known for his winning performances at Showtime at the Apollo. Check out Peaston perform "Everything Must Change" at Showtime at the Apollo below.