Twin Cities musician Sonny Knight died of lung cancer Saturday in Minneapolis, according to his label, Secret Stash Records. He was 69.
Knight got his start in the '60s Twin Cities soul and R&B scene; he landed a hit in 1975 with the band Haze. He served the U.S. Army in Korea and Vietnam. For most of his professional life, though, he was a professional truck driver. That career path made his 2014 album, I'm Still Here, a triumphant comeback moment. Knight and his band -- the tight, funky, and much younger Lakers -- became fixtures of the local concert circuit over the past few years.
"Sometimes I wonder, why me?" Knight said around the time of I'm Still Here's release, courtesy of an obit from Secret Stash. "Why are all these great things happening now? All I can say is thanks. These are dreams that I had forgotten. Only now that they are starting to come true do I remember that I had them at all."
Knight canceled a tour in March to focus on cancer treatments. His group dropped their sophomore album, Sooner or Later, last fall.
Here's Knight chatting about Sooner or Later with City Pages in 2016:
"Well, my idea is that whatever we’re doing, the fact that we’re still alive and sucking in air… is that if you’ve still got time to be in this world, sooner or later you’re gonna get whatever it is you wanna get, or whatever it is you’re trying to build up and have, you know?"
Read our 2014 cover story on Sonny Knight & the Lakers here.
Knight is survived by his three children and three grandchildren.