"Heaven Help Me" - Deon Estus
from the album Spell (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #5 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 11
Today's song of the day comes from musician and Detroit native Deon Estus, who went from being a session bassist to joining the tour band for Wham! in the early 80s. There he found a benefactor in George Michael, who helped Deon by producing his debut album Spell in 1989. Before that, Deon released a single, "Me Or the Rumours", which went to #15 on Billboard's Dance Club Play chart. The first pop radio release was the gentle ballad "Heaven Help Me", co-written by Deon with Michael and featuring the latter prominently on background vocals (well, background so much that you though it may have been a lost Wham! record in the chorus)...
"Heaven Help Me" became Deon's sole top-40 pop hit, reaching the #5 spot in April of 1989. The song also climbed to #3 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary radio chart, and did the same on their R&B chart. Internationally, the record went to #4 in Canada, but surprisingly just missed the top-40 in the UK at #41 despite the George Michael connection.
A third single from the album, the title track "Spell", made it to a respectable #11 on the Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") list, and #74 R&B. He hasn't released any more solo material, but continued to tour with Michael and play bass for a myriad of acts.
Up tomorrow: A southern rock staple gets another try.