Michael Earl Henderson was born on July 7, 1951, in Yazoo City, Mississippi. In the early 1960s he moved to Detroit, playing as a session musician.
Henderson was one of the first notable bass guitarists of the fusion era as well as being one of the most influential jazz and soul musicians of the past 40 years. In addition to Davis, he played and recorded with Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, the Dramatics, among many others.
Before working with Davis, Henderson had been touring with Stevie Wonder, whom he met at the Regal Theater in Chicago while warming up for a gig. Davis saw the young Henderson performing at the Copacabana in New York City in early 1970 and reportedly said to Wonder simply “I’m taking your fucking bassist.” After almost seven years with Davis, Henderson focused on songwriting and singing in a solo career that produced many hit songs and albums for Buddah Records until his retirement in 1986. Although known primarily for ballads, he was an influential funk player whose riffs and songs have been widely covered. He is also known for his ballad vocalizing on several Norman Connors hit recordings, including “You Are My Starship” and “Valentine Love”, performed with Jean Carn
Thank you to the New York Tristate Owner and Operators Association for your continued support of the Black Community.
All featured faces of Black History are not captured in the 2023 theatre production.