Who would you consider the most influential person in your life or career? Maybe a parent, teacher or perhaps someone else at the top of your profession. More than likely if you are influenced by a successful contemporary; that individual also influences others. I am initiating this discussion a month after the release of Time magazines 100 most influential people. At the very least the list can be considered intriguing especially in the category of music. Easily understood are the inclusions of Adele and Rihanna, two young but extremely successful vocalists. Both young performers definitely will influence even younger artists. However, some may wonder about placing Raphael Saadiq on the list. The singer/songwriter fresh off his forty-fifth birthday last week is not considered a large name among popular entertainers of the world. Many of you reading my blog may not have ever heard of him. But recognition in itself is never a measure of musical talent or in this case, the ability to influence others. Saadiq got his start with the R & B group Tony! Toni! Tone! and later enjoyed more notoriety and acclaim with the group “Lucy Pearl“. I read a statement earlier in the week from a fan who said with Saddiq’s talent it was hard to understand why he had not enjoyed greater gain. However, Saddiq got the attention of mega superstar Elton John. John made the case in Time magazine as to why Saddiq should be included on the list of influential persons. The thing that many of us do not see is the work as producer and/or arranger on behalf of other artists. (Elton John included) The list of artists Saddiq has worked with is so long it would take an article alone to mention everyone. He may not be well-known by many readers, but he is considered a go-to musician among other musicians. Raphael Saddiq is thought to be a standard bearer for Old School R & B music as Elton John alluded to and appreciated in the Time article. I encourage everyone to give a listen to Raphael Saddiq music. Go back to his days with Tony! Tony! Tone! or Lucy Pearl. Perhaps you would also listen to his work as a solo artist. Will he influence your work if you are a singer/songwriter? Maybe! But I’m sure you will find some good music for your listening enjoyment.