The music industry was rocked by news of the sudden death of publicist Diane Oliver Taylor on Memorial Day.
Insiders who knew him said he seemed well on Sunday and did not recognize anything unusual about his manner. However, allegedly, Monday he complained about not feeling well. Reportedly he was rushed to the hospital after intense pain forced him to postpone his regular duties.
He died that same day of a heart attack.
Those who knew him will recall his cheerful disposition.
Friendly and care-free, Taylor was a magnet to everyone he encountered.
He often introduced himself as “D to the O to the T.”
A great many knew him as a publicist who promoted talents at CBS Records, Jive, Virgin, EMI and enumerable independents.
He was regarded to be a hip-hop specialist but in his galaxy were talents of every genre: Lisa, Lisa & Cult Jam, Full Force, Cool Moe Dee, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince (Will Smith), Tom Jones, Miss Melodie, LL Cool J, KRS-One, Britney Spears, Whodini, Too $hort, Jonathan Butler, Samantha Fox, Millie Jackson, Schooly D., Paula Abdul, Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers, actor Jack Palance and others.
More than anything, he loved people and music.
As a matter of fact, his personal favorite was the Caribbean beat of calypso. He truly appreciated pan rhythm and would easily be distracted by any mainstream mention of the under-exposed music.
He revered, the Mighty Sparrow, aka the king of calypso. And he rendered equal plaudits on its queen, Calypso Rose. Annually when carnival ended in Trinidad & Tobago, by Ash Wednesday Taylor could recite the year’s Road-march winners.
Although he lived in The Bronx, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands was his home. He annually attended the island’s summer celebration in the Bronx and rallied fiercely to promote the tiny U.S. territory and former Dutch colony.
At heart, he was truly Caribbean.
In addition to the record business, Taylor was also instrumental in creating a platform for a monthly, music showcase known as R&B Live.
He also served as publicist to the Poconos Mountain Film Festival.
In recent years he pursued talent bookings and publicity, helping with artist and repertoire, promotion and other aspects of the music industry.
He is survived by his grandmother, two brothers, aunts, cousins, godchildren and devoted friends.
He was 51 years old.