Benjamin was an American singer-songwriter who fronted the Atlanta, Georgia bands Smoke and the Opal Foxx Quartet. He was noted for being a radical, gay rock 'n' roll performer. He died on January 29, 1999 due to liver failure caused by Hepatitis C at age 39. He performed his final concert in Atlanta, Georgia on New Year's Eve, 1998. He was the subject of a documentary released in 2000 called Benjamin Smoke directed by Jem Cohen and Peter Sillen, filming for which took 10 years.