Phyllis Hyman: Ode to a Sophisticated Lady

Twenty-five years after the release of her legendary Living All Alone album, we give the late, great songstress much-deserved props.

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As we tried to make sense of the loss, one of my friends quietly asked, "She was beautiful, talented, rich and famous. If Phyllis Hyman can't get love right, then where does that leave the rest of us?" We didn't have an answer. "Meet Me on the Moon" played in the backdrop of our solemn drive home.

In late 1995, Philadelphia International Records would posthumously release the eerie I Refuse to Be Lonely, with the ominous title track resonating like a premonition: "I can't hold you/Like I want to/Can't hold you to the promises you make/You won't be here tonight/Or any other night ... baby I refuse to be lonely." Phyllis Hyman didn't sing love songs, but she sang about love.

This goes out to you, sophisticated lady. I hope love has found you on the other side. 

Clay Cane is New York-based journalist. You can read more of his work here. Follow him on Twitter.

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