Lead & Background Vocalist
The Phillips brothers met Renee in the early stages of their musical careers. Their music took a turn for the better when she joined the band, Licyndiana. Her voice cut through the air with a magical tone. Her high notes soared through the sky with a chilling presence and clarity. The band knew that she had something great to offer!
After many rehearsals, writing sessions and performances, Licyndiana changed its name to Starpoint to pursue a recording contract and career. Having Renee in the band made the package complete. Starpoint was signed to a Polygram label, Casablanca/Chocolate City Records in 1980. They Recorded four albums with that label.
In 1985 Starpoint recorded their seventh Album "Restless" with Elektra/Asylum, a Warner Brothers label. Starpoint toured extensively that year. The album sold over 600,000 records and went "Gold" with Renee singing the hit single, "Object Of My Desire".
In the middle of the "Restless" tour, Renée was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). It made it hard for Starpoint to continue touring.
What was most encouraging about Renee was that she dealt with this disease and all of the physical/mental problems it caused, with strength and grace. She handled herself the same way when she electrified audiences with her onstage performance's. Even though Renee became increasingly ill with MS, she continued to tour and record three more albums with Starpoint. She was seasoned, as a vocalist/songwriter . . . a true artist!
Renee did a project on her own in 1990. She recorded a solo album called "Oasis" for Capitol Records. Produced by Ernesto Phillips. "Oasis wasn't released by Capital, but it was picked up by Expansion Records and released in Europe! Renée co-wrote four of the albums twelve songs with Ernesto Phillips, who did the majority of the writing for Starpoint. Clearly, the topic of love was a prime subject for them. Renee and Ernesto had been long-time companions!
Renee did other musical projects with Michael Franks, Cliff Dawson, and other recording artists during the Starpoint years. She has the ability to shape and mold her voice to fit any situation!
Renee continued to coach and inspire many in the music industry.
Renee played a significant part in the success that Starpoint reached with her charm, beauty and fantastic vocal ability. Renee Diggs with her joyous personality and wonderful voice have always been and will always be a strong force in our lives! Her life has been a great contribution to all people and music in the world!
Renee Diggs passed away March 18,2005 due to complications with an underlining heart condition. Renee will be missed greatly by the Diggs Family, the Phillips Family, Starpoint, Renee's Fans and Friends.
Producer, Composer, Musical Director, Lead & Background Vocalist, Lead & Rythm Guitar, Keyboards
Ernesto first played the trumpet. He had the typical private lessons and played in the School Concert Band. Arundel Junior High (7th-9th grade), through Arundel Senior High (10th-12th grade). He played trumpet in the first Phillips band, JR and the Royals. This band had a 4 piece horn section doing songs by Mandrill, Kool and the Gang, Ohio Players, Earth, Wind & Fire, etc. Later during some personnel changes (no horns), Renee Diggs joined the band, adding her fabulous vocal. The band changed it's name to Licyndiana. Ernesto by then was running the band. He had picked up the guitar and taught himself to play very well. He learned Progressive Jazz, Funk rhythms and Blues Jazz lead guitar lines and would often practice running jazz scales with his brother Gregory providing a steady rhythm on the drums. The band did songs by James Brown, Billy Cobham, Rufus / Chaka Khan, Minnie Ripperton, Isley Brothers, etc. At the same time Ernesto began writing songs and recording demo's with the band. The group was polished! Ernesto's idea was to begin looking for a Major Recording contracts. With that thought, the band changed it's name again to Starpoint. The Phillips Familly moved out of Crownsville, MD to Columbia / Baltimore and shortly after got a record deal through Lionel Job with Chocalate City / Casablanca - Polygram Records.
Ernesto has written and produced for:
Renee Diggs (solo album Oasis) Import
Milli Vanilli (multi-platinum)
Toni Braxton (multi-platinum)
Ernesto passed on March 25,2004. We will all miss him very dearly. His contributions to the music industry are tremendous! His love for musicians, family, friends, fans, and his dedication to helping all people will never be forgotten!
God Bless Him!
Please help Ernesto's legacy live on with donations to:
George , was the band leader in the early days of the Phillips brothers. The first official band was called "J.R. and the Royals". This group played songs by bands like "Kool and the Gang","Mandrill" and the "Ohio Players". George Jr. was the lead singer, and played keyboards, Ernesto Phillips was on trumpet, Lloyd Phillips on tenor sax, Orlando Phillips on alto sax, first cousin Gaylord Phillips on the trombone, Ky Adeyemo on bass guitar, and Greg Phillips on the drums.
Then came "Licyndiana" !
George left to pursue a college career and returned later to help form Starpoint! His singing brought something special to the group. The ballad's are strong with his voice, solo as well as the duet's with Renee Diggs. He has that crystal clear voice that cannot be mistaken with anyone else.
George began taking charge of the promotional aspects of the band, and used his knowledge in law to help in Starpoints' business affairs.
George also was involved in producing and writing! He produced and wrote the song "Say You Will" and co-produced all parts of the "Say You Will" video! The video was done in our home town, Annapolis,Md. George is a force to be reckoned with!
Orlando started out playing the clarinet. He was "first chair"clarinet in the Arundel High School Band in Gambrills,Maryland. At the age of fifteen he learned to play the saxophone, and the next year he picked up the bass guitar. Raised in a home with a piano, he played the keyboards informally all his life. Orlando also is a composer. He wrote the song "Emotions" on Starpoint's "Restless" Album, and has co-writin many others. Orlando plays the bass guitar, saxaphone, and does background vocals, when he's with Starpoint.
Throughout the years Orlando has worked and recorded with other artist!
He was the leader and lead vocalist for the popular Caribbean music group Mama Jama from 1987-1995. He recorded bass on the multi-platinum debut LP of Grammy Award winning artist, Toni Braxton! He has performed in the company of several well known groups including Patti Labelle, Ashford & Simpson, Kool & The Gang, Natalie Cole, Luther Vandross, Morris Day of the Time, Blackstreet, and many more.
Orlando now sings, plays a tenor pan (Steel Drum), saxaphone and keyboards, for his solo performances, that features Reggae, Soca, Calypso, Latin and other styles of music from the Caribbean.
You can get more information about Orlando Phillips on his own website!
Greg is a self taught musician. He started playing boxes, chairs,tables, cups and glasses,with knives, forks and anything he could get his hands on, at an early age! He began playing real drums at 9 yrs old and singing with his brothers. Occasionally, Greg would sing lead. He would sing tunes by the Jackson Five, "Never Can Say Good Bye" and the Osmonds Brothers,"One Bad Apple". The Phillips brothers performed at family gatherings, and in front of dinner guest, at parties for Dads fellow employees. His father, Dr. George McKenzie Phillips, M.D. ,of Crownsville State Hospital, bought him a full fledged, five piece drum set at 12. It was given to him when he graduated from South Shore Elementary School in Crownsville, Maryland.
Greg began playing with his brother's at basement parties, local bars, and clubs at 14 yrs old. The first band was called, "J.R. and the Royals", named after the oldest brother, George Jr. The band later became Licyndiana, adding Renee Diggs. After playing several more years at basement parties, high schools, bars and clubs. Licyndiana changed their name to Starpoint, made a demo, and started to look for recording deals.
At 21yrs of age, Greg signed his first recording contract with Starpoint. Starpoint signed to Chocolate City Records, a subsidiary of Casablanca and Polygram Records. In 1985, Starpoint resigned a record deal with Elektra Asylum Records/Warner Bro. They sold over 600,000 records with the album "Restless". They were presented with a Gold record after a concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City! Greg would do a drum solo at every show with standing ovations right before going into Starpoints' hit song , (on the Restless album), "Object Of My Desire"
Greg's style in playing the drums gave Starpoint a driving force. He helped to create the arrangements for "Live" shows and some of the albums. He was a big contribution to the writing direction of the band.
Greg has worked with many artist and musicians all through the years of his musical career, ranging in different musical styles and genres. He has always loved to perform and will continue performing with many people on his musical quest.
Ky played second bass on the first two albums and some keyboard parts live. Ernesto along with Kayode co-wrote the title song "Keep On It" on the second album released and Starpoint's hit single,"Object Of My Desire" on the "Restless" album!