b. Curtis Kinnard Hairston, 10th October 1961, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, U.S.A.
d. 18th January 1996, N.C. Baptist Hospital, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, U.S.A.
Curtis Hairston was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, U.S.A.
He began singing at the early age of 3 and was actively involved in the Tot's Choir, Children's Choir, and was an active member of the Spiritual Choir.
In Winston Salem, Curtis became known locally for his rendition of 'We Are All God's Children'.
Curtis sang the song at his grandfather's church.
By the age of 13 he had made up his mind to sing professionally.
His early public education was in the Winston-Salem and Forsyth County Schools.
Curtis then furthered his education at Winston-Salem State University.
He continued his musical training at Juliard School of Music in New York.
The basketball player, Earl Monroe, set up a record label and on a visit to Winston-Salem, Curtis got in touch.
The pair had both attended the same school and the pair struck up a relationship that led, via a demo tape recording, to Curtis signing to Earl's Pretty Pearl label.
The debut single was 'I Want You (All Tonight)', licensed to RCA in the U.K., became a Top 50 hit in 1983.
The follow-up 'I Want Your Lovin' (Just A Little Bit)' was released in the UK for the London imprint in 1985, reaching the Top 15 slot later that year.
In the States he had an R & B hit with his version of 'We All Are One'.
Jimmy Cliff's acheived some success with the song at the same time.
Curtis then signed to Atlantic, he collaborated with Nona Hendryx for his debut album.
His first Atlantic single was 'Chillin'Out', which reached the U.K. charts reaching the Top 60 in 1986.
Curtis also fronted an album of songs for B.B.& Q., (something that he remained uncredited for).
The group's Kae Williams Jnr. (also once part of the group Breakwater) collaborated with him on 1987's debut album 'Curtis Hairston'.
That album contained the song 'The Morning After', popular in the U.K.
Luther Vandross had sung background vocals for Curtis Hairston during his career, additionally.
Curtis recorded with the jazz group Ready For Reality on their 1990 Next Plateau release 'Ready For Reality'.
All told, Greg Radford was the writer and producer of 90% of Curtis' songs.
Throughout his career, Curtis was plagued with diabetes, relocating from his base in New York back to Winston-Salem as his health weakened.
There he received treatment for his illness, however, diabetes got the better of the singer and he suffered kidney failure as a result.
Two weeks before his death he stood before the congregation at his local church to sing.
Curtis passed away in January 1996, at the N.C. Baptist Hospital, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
He was just 34 years old.
Curtis Hairston (Atlantic Records 1986)