Bobby Womack dead: Ronnie Wood leads tributes for the late, great soul legend

Wood, Candi Stanton and CeeLo Green have joined the rest of the music world to honour the inspirational singer-songwriter on social media

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Tributes have been flooding in for the late soul legend Bobby Womack, who has died aged 70.

Womack was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease two years ago and dealt with a number of health issues, including prostate cancer. His publicist Sonya Kolowrat confirmed he had died yesterday, but the cause of death has not been announced.

The musician’s death has sparked an outpouring of grief, messages of condolence and recollections of memories from some of his many friends in the industry, following a critically-acclaimed career that spanned over six decades and saw him inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009.

As a singer, performer and songwriter he cut a wide path through the music business and his close friends would grow to include Sly Stone, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Wilson Pickett, to name but a few.

The Rolling Stones musician Ronnie Wood led tributes to Womack, saying news of his passing “has brought tears to my eyes”. Womack’s hits included It's All Over Now, which was performed by the Rolling Stones, after he was persuaded to let the group record it by his friend, the 'King of Soul' Sam Cooke.

Wood added: "My heart goes out to his family & friends and everyone who loved his music. Bobby you will be greatly missed xx"

Gospel singer Candi Staton described a friendship with Womack that began when they were children and touring together.

"He had a style that nobody else could ever capture," she said in a statement. "I loved him and I will miss him so, so very much."

Social media was awash with tweets from acts spanning genres and generations. Singer CeeLo Green said: "Heroes get remembered, but legends never die,", while Ronald Isley of the Isley Brothers honoured his friend's "special talent".

Blur singer Damon Albarn, who coached Womack back into the spotlight following a long break from music by asking him to record a song for the Gorillaz third album, marked his death with the tweet: “I will see my brother in church”.

Womack's return to music with Albarn would precede the release of his much-lauded album, The Bravest Man in The Universe, in 2012 under XL Recordings. The album was a departure for Womack, full of electronic music and beats.

"I don't think he ever really thought that he would do anything again," Albarn said of Womack in March.

Womack told the BBC last year that the Alzheimer's diagnosis came after he began having difficulty remembering his songs and the names of people he had worked with.

Despite his diagnosis, he had performed recently at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Tennessee and appeared to be in good health and spirits. He had been scheduled to perform at various events in Europe in July and August.