Grand Rapids radio legend Aris Hampers, who had been working in West Michigan radio since 1970, died over the weekend at the age of 73, multiple radio organizations reported. No cause of death has been revealed yet.

Apart from West Michigan’s rock radio scene for decades, Hampers also worked in WLAV and several other area stations, including WLAV, WCUZ, WFFX, WKLQ, WBFX, WVIC, and WMAX.

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WLAV said it was “a sad day for WLAV and our listeners.” It added that he was “a radio titan in the city of Grand Rapids,” and a “figure for WLAV for many years.” “His love for music extended beyond a mic on the radio. Hampers was a band member for years as well as an owner of a disc shop in Grand Rapids,” it said.

Who was Aris Hampers? 

Aris Hampers started his career with a local hit song called Last Voyage Home with his band Phlegethon, before transitioning into radio. He was known for his low voice and had been working at WLAV for many years.

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It was a known fact that Hampers shared that he had been battling cancer for three years. This is because he himself revealed his medical condition to his fans in 2019. In a Facebook post, he said: “Nearly 4 years ago in Feb. 2016 I started to notice a very subtle change to the bottom end of my voice.” Hampers explained that because of his lack of insurance and his casual attitude, his condition continued to get worse as he did not act on it.

“When it got to a point last Winter that I could no longer converse in an even mildly noisy room since I now had insurance, I decided to get it checked. He [the doctor] found a mass beneath my voicebox but was still initially stumped since he said he hadn’t seen that before and it wasn’t common,” he said.

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He said that doctors discovered “a one-and-a-half-inch cancerous tumor on my windpipe – my reward for 55 years of heavy smoking.” However, he revealed that his cancer was non-invasive and would therefore not spread. It did badly affect his larynx which was damaged beyond repair and had to be removed.