Ralph Tavares, Eldest Brother of R&B Quintet Tavares, Dies

Ralph Tavares, Eldest Brother of R&B Quintet Tavares, Dies
File photo of an ambulance. (Michael Gil via Wikimedia Commons)

LOS ANGELES—Ralph Tavares, the eldest of the five brothers in the Grammy-winning R&B singing group Tavares, whose hits included “It Only Takes a Minute” and “Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel,” has died.

Tavares died at his home in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts on Wednesday, two days before his 80th birthday, the group’s manager David Oriola said. The cause was not immediately clear.

The brothers, sons of immigrants from Cape Verde who were based in New Bedford Massachusetts, began performing together in 1959, settling on the name Tavares in 1973, the same year they had their first hit, “Check It Out.”

Tavares sang alongside his brothers Antone Laurence “Chubby” Tavares, Perry Lee “Tiny” Tavares, Feliciano Vierra “Butch” Tavares Jr., and Arthur Paul “Pooch” Tavares. Another brother, Victor Earl Tavares, sang only on the first album.

Ralph Tavares left the group in 1984, and worked for about 30 years as an officer in the Massachusetts state courts. He worked in the courtroom for the 2015 murder trial of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez.

“He was very humble, but he would love to tell us stories about Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder or the Bee Gees,” Quinn Feno, a court-officer colleague and close friend of Ralph Tavares, told the Standard-Times of New Bedford, which first reported the singer’s death.

Ralph Tavares reunited with the group in 2014 and continued performing with his brothers until his death.

“They had a show booked for Saturday night in the Poconos,” Oriola said. ”We were going to celebrate his 80th birthday.”

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