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Johnny Kemp leaves behind a hitmaker's legacy.
The Bahamian-born R&B singer, whose 1988 tune "Just Got Paid" went to No. 1 and was later covered by 'N Sync, was found dead in Jamaica on Thursday morning, his body floating off a beach in Montego Bay, Jamaican police told reporters. Cause of death has not yet been determined; he was 55.
Authorities said that he arrived in Jamaica on a cruise ship. He had been scheduled to perform on a voyage associated with the Tom Joyner Morning Show; and a rep for cruise organizer Reach Media told The Root today that the death did not occur onboard. "We have received confirmation that Johnny Kemp has passed away. We do not have any other details. We can confirm he was not on the ship for the Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage Cruise," Reach said.
"Just Got Paid" was on Kemp's 1987 album Secrets of Flying, which also featured the top-5 hit "Dancin' With Myself." In addition to being covered by 'N Sync on 2000's No Strings Attached, an all-star rendition of "Just Got Paid"—performed by Kemp and others—was featured on the 2007 Keith Sweat concert DVD Sweat Hotel Live.
Chris Kirkpatrick paid tribute to his group's onetime muse via Twitter, writing, "Rip Johnny Kemp. Thank you for the great music… #JustGotPaid."
"Johnny Kemp gave us a lot of joy with "Just Got Paid "a true anthem !!! He was a very humble and kind spirit.
"Sad news about the loss of today. Great memories of Johnny and a talented musician ," tweeted the group 7-The Original Time.
Kemp's reported survivors include wife Deidre and two sons.
"Friday Night ,Just got paid…R.I.P. Johnny Kemp," added Deee-Lite's Lady Miss Kier.