David Alan Blair “Blair”, age 43, born September 19th 1967, passed away Saturday July 23rd. David grew up in Newton, New Jersey but came to call Detroit his adopted home. He is the son of Hildegard Blair and (the late) Herbert Blair.
Blair was an award winning multi-faceted artist: poet, singer-songwriter, writer, performer, musician, community activist and teacher. In the words of Metro Times journalist Melissa Giannini, “Blair focused his work on the hope that rises from the ashes of despair.”
A 2010 Callaloo Fellow and a National Poetry Slam Champion, his first book of poetry, Moonwalking was recently released by Penmanship Books. Blair, as a solo artist, and with The Urban Folk Collective, self-released more than 7 records in the last ten years. His most recent album, The Line, with his band The Boyfriends, was released in 2010 on Repeatable Silence Records.
Throughout his life, Blair performed at venues, large and small, across the nation and around the world. He was nominated for 7 Detroit Music Awards, including a 2007 nod for Outstanding Acoustic Artist. He was named Real Detroit Weekly Readers Poll’s Best Solo Artist and The Metro Times Best Urban Folk Poet. In 2007, he won the Seattle-based BENT Writing Institute Mentor Award. As well as being the recipient of numerous awards, he taught classes and lectured on poetry and music in Detroit Public Schools, The Ruth Ellis Center, Hannan House Senior Center, the YMCA of Detroit, and at various universities, colleges and high schools across the country.
Blair has friends and fans on almost every continent. He will be greatly missed by the loved ones he left all too early. He is survived by his mother, Hildegard (Smith), and his siblings: Herbert Blair of PA, Tony Blair of NJ, Walter Blair of FL and Joy Blair Swinson of NJ. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles.
And every raindrop falling from the sky
is like a tribute to the blue skies following behind,
And every raindrop falling to the sea
is like a testament to a new life that will come to be.
His family and friends have set up the David Blair Memorial Fund to help with the costs of his memorial service. You may donate by clicking on the button on the top right corner of this page. Any funds raised beyond these immediate expenses will be used to create a fund in his honor for Detroit artists in need of healthcare.