Bobby Womack dies aged 70: Soul legend who influenced Rolling Stones and Damon Albarn
Womack had suffered from a series of health problems in recent years
Saturday 28 June 2014
Bobby Womack, the R&B singer-songwriter who influenced artists from the Rolling Stones to Damon Albarn, has died aged 70.
An active recording artist since the 1960s, Womack began his career as a member of the gospel-influenced Curtis Womack and the Womack Brothers with his siblings, Curtis, Harry, Cecil and Friendly Jr.
Changing their name to The Valentinos, the band launched the careers of Bobby and Cecil, with Bobby becoming a successful solo artist and Cecil finding fame with his wife Linda Cooke as Womack & Womack.
Bobby Womack, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009, is considered one of the greatest R&B singers and is responsible for hits including Lookin' For a Love, That's The Way I Feel About Cha, Across 110th Street and If You Think You're Lonely Now.
After suffering from a series of health problems in recent years including diabetes, pneumonia and colon cancer, Womack confirmed in January last year that he was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
He spoke of kicking his substance abuse problems in a 2012 interview with The Associated Press and all the friends he'd lost to drugs over the years.
"I think the biggest move for me was to get away from the drug scene," Womack said. "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."
In 2012, Womack released his first album in more then a decade, the critically acclaimed, The Bravest Man in the Universe, which was produced by Damon Albarn, with whom Womack also worked with on the last two Gorillaz albums.
He performed recently at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival and seemed in good health and spirits. He had been scheduled to perform at multiple events across Europe in July and August.
His final album, The Best is Yet to Come, is due to be released this year.
The cause of death was yet to be confirmed.
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