Scatman John died of cancer on December 3, 1999. He was 57.

He was originally a jazz singer and pianist, but gained a tiny amount of fame with his hit single "Scatman" in the mid-90s. By this time in his career, John was scatting over techno. Scatman John's achievements are rather amazing, when you take into account his terrible stuttering problem. He was able to temporarily overcome his speech impediment by focusing on his singing and scatting.

More generically, a scatman is any singer of scat, a type of jazz based on rapid vocal sounds and nonsensical singing. It's a real genre and a rather wonderful talent, not something freakish.

John may have been a one-hit wonder, but at least his one hit was something very unique.

A very interesting individual indeed. He seems to have made a career out of his stuttering problem, as it provided him with a natural ability to scat like a madman. This style of gibberish singing has long existed, but the Scatman has co-opted it for his own purposes, creating a delightful hybrid of synthetic dance pop, latin grooves, and mind-bending scat-robatics.

John was always interested in jazz music. He grew up in the Californian district of El Sereno. He became a fairly adept piano player, but scat was his one true love. He spent a lot of time playing jazz, and his drug problem continued to rage out of control. Eventually he got cleaned up and began to work at making a real career out of his stuttering and scat abilities. After failing to incorporate it into jazz, he got involved in more poppy, electronic dance music. Here he was able to make the scat fit, and his career began it's blast into the commercial stratosphere.

One of his claims to fame was having his video for the song "I'm the Scatman (Ski-Ba-Bop-Ba-Dop-Bop)" on the popular MTV show Beavis and Butthead. In his career he sold over 20 million records worldwide. Unfortunately, he passed away on December 3rd, 1999. However, this hero of scat will be remembered by many. If you are interested in finding out more about him, download the song "I'm the Scatman (Ski-Ba-Bop-Ba-Dop-Bop)" and witness the zenith of the Scatman's scatting powers.

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