In a tragic news, bass player Anthony Tolson (Ne-Yo, Young Jeezy, Kelis) was shot and killed on Christmas Eve while leaving his gig at a church service on his way to bring presents to his three kids.
Yet Tolson never made it. He was shot and killed by multiple assailants who then stole his SUV that contained his bass and gifts for his kids: William, 7; Aaron, 12, and Amber, 13.The tragedy has left his close friends struggling to understand how Tolson, 33, who friends say has toured with artists like Ne-Yo, Young Jeezy, Kelis and J. Moss, became the victim of violence.
Detroit Free Press Reports: On Christmas Eve, Anthony Tolson had finished playing bass guitar at a church service and was driving to see his three kids on Detroit’s east side.
“It’s just a shock, that somebody would do something like this, especially on a night like that,” said Tolson’s good friend, D.W. Bass.
He switched to the bass guitar in his teens and became successful locally at private parties and recording sessions. Eventually, he branched out into tours with prominent artists.
Tolson’s music career started early, with the steel drums at around 8 years old, said his former music teacher, Chaz Russell. He would play the steel drums at Greater Christ Baptist in Detroit, where his father was a pastor.
“He was a phenomenal bass player,” said Bass, who is also a musician and toured with Tolson a few years ago. “You could tell just from looking at him (that) this is not something he’s doing just to get money. He loved his job.”
“You wouldn’t even know what he did or who he played for unless you looked him up,” Easton added.
Despite Tolson’s success, he remained noticeably humble about the groups he had played with, said another friend, Brent Easton.
In the last six months, Tolson had taken a serious interest in the church and was training to become an ordained minister, said his ex-girlfriend and close friend, Karla Pace. He had also recently bought a house in Eastpointe, had just turned 33 on Sunday and had gone to see the new "Star Wars" film with his sons.
On Christmas Eve, Tolson finished performing at Central Baptist Church in Detroit. He was headed to his mother’s house on the east side, where his kids were staying and where he planned to open gifts with them in the morning.
The suspects then drove away in the vehicle, Lewis added. No other details were released. Anyone with information about the shooting can call Detroit Police Homicide Division at 313-596-2260.As a tribute to Tolson, Detroit bass players are holding a jam session in Southfield at Back Beat, 29555 Northwestern Hwy (near Guitar Center), at 8 p.m. on Sunday, said Kern Brantley, the current bassist for Lady Gaga. The proceeds from the concert will go to Tolson’s family.
But at around 9:30 p.m., two assailants ordered Tolson out of his gray Chevrolet Trailblazer near Gratiot and State Fair Avenue before shots were fired, said Sgt. Cassandra Lewis, a Detroit Police spokeswoman. (Police did not identify Tolson by name.)
“It’s horrible,” Pace said. “It’s so hard, because he’s such a good person. Things like this shouldn’t happen to people that have a good heart and care about people so much.”
Our thoughts are with Tolson's family and loved ones.