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Techno legend Kelli Hand has died

The cause of her death has not been announced

2021 Aug 04     
2 Bit Thugs

The 'First Lady of Detroit' was a veteran of the Motor City scene from its earliest days

Detroit house and techno legend Kelli Hand, AKA K-Hand, has died. The cause of her death has not been made public.

Born in Detroit in 1965, Ms Hand had childhood dreams of becoming a newsreader. But a meeting with a pre-fame Derrick May in her teens ignited the electronic music spark, and she had soon taken up DJing, spending her wages on trips to New York to check out Larry Levan in action at the Paradise Garage, or trekking to Chicago to see Ron Hardy at the Music Box and Frankie Knuckles at The Warehouse.

By 1990, she had taken up a DJ residency at a Detroit nightclub called Zippers, and launched her own label, somewhat confusingly named UK House, through which she released her first record Think About It (credited to Etat Solide). She would release two more EPs under this name before reverting to her real name (and/or her K-Hand alias), by which time UK House had become Acacia Records, which tooks its name from the Detroit street where she lived.

As well as Acacia, she recorded over the years for many other respected labels including Warp, Radikal Fear, Distance, Tresor and !K7, releasing seven studio albums and over 60 singles and EPs.

In 2016, Hand won a Spirit Of Detroit award and in 2017 she was officially named “First Lady of Detroit” by the city and awarded a Testimonial Resolution certificate, honouring her work in breaking down doors for black women in music, and in boosting Detroit's cultural reputation worldwide.

Pic: Marie Staggat





Tags: K-Hand, Kelli Hand, Detroit, techno