Who was Bernard Belle?
Bernard Belle was an American composer, producer, and musician who cowrote hits for Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Bobby Brown, and many others. He was also influential in the development of new jack swing, a genre that fused R&B, hip hop, and pop music. He won four Grammy Awards, two Soul Train Music Awards, and numerous other accolades for his work.
How did Bernard Belle die?
According to The Hype Magazine, Bernard Belle’s official cause of death was due to congestive heart failure. He died at a hospital in Atlanta on June 23, 2022, at the age of 57. His sister and primary caretaker, Regina Belle, a Grammy Award-winning recording artist, posted on her Facebook Page, “The smartest part of me has passed on.”
What were Bernard Belle’s achievements?
Bernard Belle started his musical career as a bassist for the Manhattans, alongside his sister Regina, who was singing backing vocals at the time. He began cowriting songs for other artists in the late 1980s, scoring a hit with 1991’s “I Like the Way (The Kissing Game)” for Hi-Five.
His biggest success was Michael Jackson’s chart-topping 1992 single “Remember the Time,” which he cowrote with Teddy Riley and Michael Jackson. He also cowrote other songs for Jackson, including “Privacy” and “Why You Wanna Trip on Me.” He cowrote the 1993 duet between Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, “Something in Common,” as well as other songs for Brown.
He also composed songs for musicians including Patti LaBelle, Boy George, and the Winans, as well as producing records for artists including Al B. Sure and Keith Sweat. He collaborated with Teddy Riley, a pioneer of new jack swing, and helped shape the sound of the genre.
He dedicated his life to Christ in 1994 and continued to work as a producer and musician in the gospel music industry. He performed with Donnie McClurkin, Shirley Caesar, Richard Smallwood, Marvin Sapp, Fred Hammond, Yolanda Adams, Tye Tribbett, Mary Mary, Kirk Franklin, Donald Lawrence, Smokie Norful, Hezekiah Walker and BeBe & CeCe Winans. He was a recurring musician on the BET gospel shows Sunday Best and The Celebration of Gospel.
How are people remembering Bernard Belle?
Many fans and fellow musicians have expressed their condolences and tributes to Bernard Belle on social media and other platforms. Some of the messages are:
- RIP Bernard Belle, 57. Co-wrote Michael Jackson’s REMEMBER THE TIME, which peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. (His sister Regina sang ‘A Whole New World’ on Aladdin end credits.) – Rhett, a movie blogger
- Today we mourn the passing of uber-talented Grammy winner Bernard Belle, brother of famed singer Regina Belle. – SoulTracks, a soul music website
- It was very sad to hear about the passing of Regina Belle’s brother, Bernard Belle, a couple of days ago. Bernard’s gift as a songwriter gave us so many gems from Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, just to name a few. He will be missed. – Travis, a music enthusiast
Bernard Belle was a talented and versatile songwriter, producer, and musician who left a lasting legacy in the music industry. He worked with some of the biggest names in pop, R&B, and gospel music, and created memorable songs that touched millions of listeners. He died of congestive heart failure at the age of 57, leaving behind his family, friends, and fans. He will be remembered as one of the best in his field.