CANTON, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – DeWayne Julius “D.J.” Rogers, 72, of Canton, Ohio, departed this life Saturday, August 22, 2020, of heart failure.
He was born May 9, 1948, in Los Angeles, California, the son of Rev. Julius Cesar and Vivian Eula Pounds Rogers.
D.J. was a singer, songwriter, producer, releasing his first song and album entitled “Listen to the Message” in 1973. He is best known for his 70’s Soul ballad, “Say You Love Me” that was later recorded by Natalie Cole, Jennifer Holliday, CeCe Rogers and Zindy. This song is on his 1975 RCA album “It’s Good to Be Alive”.
He traveled with the Los Angeles Community Choir, directed by Harrison Johnson and was featured on five albums by the ensemble for Savoy Records. He also recorded with Gospel Godfather James Cleveland and was hired as the MD, primary composer and producer for the Watts Community Choir’s LP on Proverb Records.
In 1969, D.J. decided to leave Gospel and began recording at Ray Charles’ studio with engineer David Braithwaite. Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire signed D.J. to his ARC/Columbia Records, releasing three classic LPs, “Love Brought Me Back” (1978) followed by “Trust Me” (1979) and “The Message is Still the Same” (1980).
He entered the ministry in 1981 and began speaking, also appearing on the Oprah Winfrey Satellite Radio Network. He contributed to the recordings of The Clark Sisters, Donald Lawrence, Kirk Franklin, Hezekiah Walker, Keith Pringle, Darius Brooks, Patrice Rushen, Gene Harris, The Brecker Brothers, Webster Lewis, Shirley Brown, Leon Haywood, Maxayn, Mary McCreary, Memphis Horns, G.A.P. Band, Carrie Lucas, Helen Baylor, Lauryn Hill and 112, Tom Jones, Osibisa, David Diggs and the Black Chorus Brown University.
He leaves to mourn his wife, Brenda White Rogers, who he married 39 years ago; two daughters, Wendy and Cilia; one son, DeWayne J. Rogers, Jr.; father, Rev. Julius C. Rogers; stepmother, Wanda Rogers; two brothers, Rudy and Michael; one sister, Deborah and a host of relatives, friends and fans.
He was preceded in death by his mother and two brothers, Kenneth Rogers and Edward Smith.
Arrangements of comfort were handled by the Sterling-McCullough Williams Funeral Home.
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