Vocalist • Musician • Composer • Producer
Deon Estus epitomizes the phrase – “Born to perform.” From the time his great-grandmother gave him his first guitar at the age of three, it was obvious that Deon and music were a match made in heaven. Coming from a family deeply involved with the arts, Deon’s affinity for music was first manifested in singing opera with the Philadelphia Philharmonic Orchestra’s youth program and soon gravitated to an overwhelming passion for the bass guitar. He quickly established himself as a local prodigy in the Detroit area and beyond, playing such venues as Motown Studios, The Apollo Theater, The Grand Ole Opry and Carnegie Hall.
Forming a band while still in his teens, Deon produced many dance hits, resulting in his invitation to tour the United States as opening act for both The Whispers and The Brothers Johnson. Deon’s unique abilities soon captured the attention of singing legend Marvin Gaye. Deon and Marvin forged a powerful relationship which led to a collaboration on Marvin’s “Midnight Love” album and continued through several years of European tours.
Deon’s reputation as a bass virtuoso, accomplished composer, and skilled producer created a demand for his talent by such musical luminaries as Elton John, Annie Lennox, Seal, Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner, George Clinton, Frank Zappa and Tracy Spencer. Yet it was in 1982 that he paired with little-known George Michael and his band Wham! Seemingly overnight, Wham! reached legendary status with Deon serving as the musical director and bass guitarist. Highlights of this relationship include performing at MTV’s lst Music Awards at the Berlin Wall, The Princess of Wales Concert for Hope at Wembley Arena 1 London, and garnering distinction as the first western group to perform and tour China.
Eventually producing his own album entitled “Spell,” Deon’s single “Heaven Help Me,” co-written with George Michael, reached the elusive top 5 on the International Billboard charts, and his second single, “Spell” climbed to number 8. Now residing again in the United States, this prolific writer, performer, and consummate professional is in high demand. Considered one of the top 5 bass players in the world, Deon is lending his diverse talents to such projects as scoring films, working in the studio assisting premiere artists, as well as forming his own label. Many consider music the only true universal language. Deon Estus speaks it fluently.