Donny Hathaway, 33, a song-writer and singer who had two gold record albums in 1972 and won a Grammy Award in 1973, fell 13 stories to his death Saturday night from his room in the Essex House Hotel in New York.
"We suspect suicide because the door to the room was locked and there was no evidence of foul play," a police spokesman said. Police said no suicide note was found in the room.
Mr. Hathaway won a Grammy for the million-seller single, "Where Is the Love," which he had recorded with Roberta Flack the previous year. A single from the album, "You've Got A Friend," rose to the top of the charts.
He was nominated for a second Grammy in 1978. The winners have not yet been announced.
His two gold albums were "Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway," and "Donny Hathaway Live."
A critic characterized his later work in a 1976 review as "neither jazz nor rock nor soul," but rather "a kinky herky-jerky sort of music, almost atonal pop."
Mr. Hathaway, the grandson of gospel singer Martha Crumwell, was born in Chicago and reared in St. Louis. He began singing as a 3-year-old and was billed as "America's Youngest Gospel Singer."
He came to Washington in 1964 to attend Howard University on an arts scholarship. After college he first performed at Ed Murphy's Supper Club, worked as an arranger, song writer, producer, keyboardist and percussionist for Curtis Mayfield and for the Imessions. He later became associated with Roberta Flack.