Michael Henderson (born 1951) is an American bass guitarist and vocalist best known for his bass playing with Miles Davis in the early 1970s, on early fusion albums such as Jack Johnson, Live-Evil, and Agharta, as well as series of R&B/soul hits, particularly the Norman Connors produced hit, You Are My Starship in 1976 and other songs in the mid to late 1970s.
He was one of the first notable bass guitarists of the fusion era as well as being one of the most influential jazz and soul musicians of the past 40 years. In addition to Davis, he has played and recorded with Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, the Dramatics, Doctor John, among many others. Henderson was bass guitarists based in Detroit, along with Bob Babbitt and his primary influence, James Jamerson.
Before working with Davis, Henderson had been touring with Stevie Wonder, whom he met at the Regal Theater in Chicago while warming up for a gig. Davis saw the young Henderson performing at the Copacabana in New York City in early 1970 and reportedly said to Wonder simply "I’m taking your fucking bassist." After almost seven years with Davis, Henderson focused on songwriting and singing in a solo career that produced many hit songs and albums for Buddah Records until his retirement in 1986. Although known primarily for ballads, he was an influential funk player whose riffs and songs have been widely covered. His solo recordings have sold well over one million albums. A track titled "Wide Receiver" on an album of the same name is highly favored by breakdancers. The album, along with others, was reissued in 2015. He is also known for his ballad vocalizing on several Norman Connors hit recordings, including "You Are My Starship" and "Valentine Love", performed with Jean Carn.