Quindon Tarver, Child Singer Who Appeared in Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet, Killed at Age 38
Quindon died in a car crash last week in Dallas, Texas, his uncle, Kevin Tarver, told the Dallas Morning News
Quindon Tarver, a child star known for his haunting rendition of Rozalla's dance hit in the 1996 movie Romeo + Juliet, has died. He was 38.
Kevin told the Dallas paper that his nephew "was getting ready to make his comeback."
"He had been in the studio working on a project that was supposed to be released this year," he said.
Quindon sang in Baz Luhrmann's iconic take on William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet as a young boy, and his covers of Rozalla's "Everybody's Free (To Feel Good)" and Prince's "When Doves Cry" appeared on the film's soundtrack.
A few years after his Romeo + Juliet role, he appeared on two seasons of American Idol.
In a tribute to Quindon on Instagram Monday, Luhrmann shared a clip of Quindon singing during on-set rehearsals.
"A beautiful soul has passed, my thoughts are with Quindon Tarver's family and loved ones," the director wrote in the caption.
Quindon was born in McKinney, Texas, and began singing in church choirs when he was four years old, he said in a 2017 interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
"I started singing in my grandfather's church," he added. "He was the pastor."
He continued, "I realized from a young age that this was what I wanted to do. I liked the way that people were moved by it, how it affected them. I would see the effect on them when I would sing and it just amazed me."
He signed with Virgin Records at 12, and also appeared in Madonna's "Like a Prayer" music video as a child. While he was recording his first album, he was cast in Romeo + Juliet.
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In 2016, Quindon was invited to sing "When Doves Cry" at a Prince tribute in Los Angeles. He admitted during his 2017 interview that he had previously struggled with drug addiction, and performing in that tribute "was like a coming to Jesus moment."
"On May 8 of last year, I put myself in rehab and I stayed there for a month. I made up my mind that I was not gonna come out of those doors that miserable person that walked in," he said, adding that after his treatment he "walked out of there a free man."
"I have not looked back," he continued. "I'm back into my music and I think my passion is stronger than ever."
In October 2020, he released a new single, "Stand Our Ground."
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.