Rico Wade Laid To Rest – Given Atlanta’s Highest Honor.

Family, friends, Senator Raphael Warnock, Mayor Andre Dickens of Atlanta, former Mayor Kasim Reed, and music industry luminaries gathered to honor and cherish the memory of the legendary Rico Wade, who passed away on April 13, 2024, at the age of 52 and was laid to rest on April 26, 2024.

The solemn proceedings commenced outdoors with the stirring renditions of the Clark Atlanta Marching Band, playing the timeless hits from Organized Noize as mourners entered the iconic Ebenezer Baptist Church to pay their respects. Among them were manager and very good friend Orlando McGhee, Ray Murray and Sleepy Brown of Organized Noize, members of The Dungeon Family including Andre 3000 and Big Boi of OutKast, Cee-Lo, T-Mo, Khujo, and Big Gipp of Goodie Mob, and Killer Mike, along with Jon Platt, LA Reid, Perri “Pebbles” Reid, Coach K, Dallas Austin, Sylvia Rhone, Michael Mauldin, Bangladesh, 2Chainz, Polow da Don, T.I., Chaka Zulu, J. Carter, and Bubba Sparxxx.

The wake, held two days prior, saw Rico’s cousin Future and TLC’s T-Boz, while Ludacris offered special support to the grieving family.

Mayor Andrew Dickens of Atlanta presented the prestigious Phoenix Award, expressing the city’s gratitude for Rico’s indelible impact. He remarked, “Rico will be celebrated as a visionary, mentor, and creative force, forever intertwined with Atlanta’s musical legacy.” Mayor Dickens also announced the establishment of the Rico Wade Music Executive Training Program in his honor, as Atlanta City Councilmember Marci Overstreet announced Rico Wade Day.



Following the tribute, MISTA, a group mentored by Rico and Organized Noize, delivered a soul-stirring rendition of “Blackberry Molasses,” produced by the trio and penned by Rico’s close friend Marqueze Etheridge.

Former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed hailed Rico as the catalyst for the city’s creative explosion across film, television, and music, urging continued reverence for Organized Noize and Rico Wade.

Standing tall, Ray Murray and Sleepy Brown, two-thirds of Organized Noize and The Dungeon Family’s incomparable leaders, took the stage. Sleepy delivered a heartfelt tribute, affirming Rico’s care for all beyond just music.

Rico Wade II and Ryder Wade, Rico Wade’s sons, tearfully hailed him as the “Best Dad,” while his wife, Debbie Wade, shared poignant memories.

The service concluded with Senator Warnock’s words of comfort, likening Rico to Atlanta’s own “Quincy Jones.”