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2016 Circle Of Sisters

Ebro Darden from Hot 97 Radio, Bob Slade and Bishop Darren A. Ferguson attend the ‘2016 Circle of Sisters’ at Jacob Javits Center on October 15, 2016 in New York City.

New York City radio legend Bob Slade has passed away. The smooth-voiced host of WBLS’ “Open Line” reportedly died on Sunday (March 24) after a battle with kidney disease.

Reports the New York Daily News:

Though he excelled over the airwaves delivering news and commentary, Harlem native Slade’s original dream was to be an actor.

In fact, Slade studied acting at Queens College and was a member of the Negro Ensemble Company and the Harlem YMCA Theater Group.

He developed an interest in radio while performing in off-Broadway shows.

After stints doing news radio on Long Island, Slade moved to New York City’s 98.7 Kiss-FM station, where he became the news director.

There, he developed the venerable “Open Line” program, which he co-hosted with attorney Bob Pickett and musician James Mtume.

The show tackled a host of urban issues from police brutality to education and politics. It moved to WBLS when 98.7 changed its format in 2012.

This is tough news for many who grew up listening to Slade on KISS in NYC. Slade never saught the spotlight, he just did the work of keeping us as woke as possible.

Soon after news broke of his passing over the weekend, the tributes began pouring. Check out of some of the more poignant reactions from fans and peers below.

Rest in power Bob Slade.

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