Thursday, January 15, 2009


Renee Diggs--and the way she pranced and jiggled her way through this video, to be more precise--made me late for class when I was in college back in 1987. What class was it? I don't know. What grade did I get in the class? Couldn't tell you. But I do remember the video...

Watching it now, it's worth noting how much mass-produced R&B has changed since "He Wants My Body" was released. Diggs fronted the band Starpoint, which had a pretty good run in the mid-1980s. But you hardly ever see a female-fronted R&B act like that today. In fact, the self-contained R&B group--once a staple of the genre--has all but disappeared from the airwaves. What I also like: Diggs wasn't a teenybopper. At 33 when this video was made, her performance carried the authority of that of a grown woman.

The "He Wants My Body" video represents Starpoint at its brief apex. Diggs was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis a short time later, and by 1990, the group had broken up. Ernesto Phillips, who slides across the floor on his knees during the guitar solo in the video, died in 2004. Diggs died from complications of MS in 2005.

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