Adam Wade, Singer/Musician and First Black American Game Show Host, Dies at 87

Beloved artist Adam Wade died on July 7 after losing his battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 87 years old.

His passing was announced via a Facebook post with a message from his family. “It is with profound sadness that we inform you of the passing of our husband, father, brother, friend, Adam Wade,” they wrote. “Arrangements are being made for his memorial and we will keep you posted; it is a great loss for all who knew and loved him. Please keep our family in your prayers. With deep sadness, the Wade family ❤.

Wade first found stardom while pursuing his musical career in the late 1950s. In the early 1960s, Wade achieved commercial and critical success with three of his songs charting on the Billboard Hot 100: “Take Good Care of Her” (#7), “As If I Didn’t Know” (#10), and “The Writing on the Wall” (#5). The singer has often cited Nat King Cole as one of his biggest musical inspirations.

Then, in the 70s, Wade turned to acting and television appearances. Notably, Wade became the first black game show host in the United States in 1975 with the premiere of Musical chairs. Some of his other television appearances included roles in search tomorrow, Sanford and sons, The Jeffersons, What is happening!!, Policewoman, kojak, Good time, The Dukes of Hazzard, and The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo.

Wade then returned to music and released his self-titled album in 1977.