United States

‘Mr. Big Stuff’ Singer Jean Knight Dies At 80

Jean Knight, a New Orleans-born soul singer known for her 1971 hit “Mr. Big Stuff,” has died at 80. Family, friends, fans and veterans of the music world mourned the loss of the Grammy-nominated singer who was considered a musical powerhouse and an integral part of New Orleans' cultural legacy.

Jean Knight

Renowned soul singer Jean Knight, famed for her 1971 hit "Mr. Big Stuff," died at the age of 80. The New Orleans-born artist, celebrated for her Grammy-nominated contributions to music, left a lasting impact on the cultural heritage of her hometown.

She succumbed to natural causes in Tampa, Florida, where she was living.

Mona Giamanco, a representative for the family, confirmed her death to The Associated Press on Monday afternoon.

In a statement, her family stated, “Jean Knight’s legacy is not just a musical one; it is a testament to the enduring love between an artist, her hometown, and the fans who adored her."

Her musical journey began in a New Orleans bar owned by her cousin shortly after high school graduation. Jean's breakthrough came in the early '70s with the recording of "Mr. Big Stuff," a sassy and soulful chart-topping anthem that became known for the infectious refrain of “Who do you think you are?”

The Stax Museum of American Soul Music said in a news release that she was Stax Records’ top-selling female artist.

Beyond her chart-topping success, she recorded multiple albums, including hits like "(Don't Mess With) My Toot Toot" and "Bill." She ventured into entrepreneurship, establishing her own label, Comstar.

Jean's performances, ranging from large festival stages to intimate French Quarter venues, showcased not only her soulful and sassy style but also her joyful presence.

In personal circles, she was cherished as a mother and grandmother who reveled in cooking Creole dishes and embracing Mardi Gras festivities.

Further details about her funeral are awaited.