Legendary soul singer and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Bobby Womack has died at the age of 70, his publicist confirmed last night. To sum up his Womack’s work and influence in a paragraph or two simply is too difficult a task. Perhaps Ronnie Wood, of The Rolling Stones, said it best when he tweeted that Womack’s voice “could make you cry when he sang.”
Known for his array of classic songs like “Across 110th Street” and “If You Think You’re Lonely Now” released in the ’70s, Womack collaborated with everyone from The Stones to Damon Albarn during his career which spanned five decades. Through his ups and downs, music was a constant in the icon’s life. After battling addiction problems over the years and prostate cancer, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease two years ago.
“I think the biggest move for me was to get away from the drug scene,” Womack told the Associate Press in 2012. “It wasn’t easy. It was hard because everybody I knew did drugs. … They didn’t know when to turn it off. So for me looking at Wilson Pickett, close friends of mine, Sly Stone, Jim Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and I can go on and on and on, and I say all of them died because of drugs.”
Albarn and XL Recordings boss Richard Russell helped Womack stage a comeback in 2012 with The Bravest Man in the Universe, a critically acclaimed album that featured electronic grooves and guests Lana Del Rey, Gil Scott-Heron and Fatoumata Diawara.
Womack said of the album, “This album was put together like we had worked on it for years. But we had only worked on it from the time we went in the studio. We just went in and said, ‘Let’s do a song.’ And the songs kept on coming.”
Thank you for the music, Bobby.
RIP Bobby Womack… A True Champion… http://t.co/Z0t60Ux6lW
— Gilles Peterson (@gillespeterson) June 28, 2014
Bobby Womack RIP
— erol alkan (@erolalkan) June 28, 2014
Such sad news about Bobby Womack. So many influential people have passed this year and it’s only late June.
— Breakage (@Breakage) June 28, 2014
This. For Bobby Womack. My favourite. *salutes* https://t.co/7uScAPLQor
— Ben Watt (@ben_watt) June 28, 2014
— Luke FM Solomon (@lukesolomon) June 28, 2014
This year has been non stop with people transitioning. RIP Bobby Womack!!! Bobby Womack – You’re Welcome, Stop On By http://t.co/NA7bPxiuLn
— THEREALDJSPINNA (@djspinna) June 28, 2014
Bobby Womack made the best soul album in the last 3 years let alone the rest of his career. R.i.p
— Huxley (@Huxley_Music) June 28, 2014
Totally gutted to hear that Bobby Womack has passed away. For me he is the greatest soul singer / writer of all time!!! RIP
— Simon Dunmore (@SimonDunmore) June 28, 2014
— billie ray martin (@billie_r_martin) June 28, 2014
…I heard Across 110th Street on there, and it blew my mind. What a song, what a performance. RIP Bobby 🙁
— Ghosting Season (@ghostingseason) June 28, 2014
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