Rock singer Joe Cocker, known for his unique husky and gritty voice, has died at 70 after a battle with lung cancer.
Cocker, whose singing career spanned over 40 years, passed away last night.
Cocker’s hit songs include You Are So Beautiful and Up Where We Belong.
His his most famous hit was a cover of the Beatles’ With a Little Help from My Friends, reaching number one in 1968.
He won his first Grammy in 1983 and an Oscar for his duet with Jennifer Warnes, Up Where We Belong, which was used in the soundtrack of Richard Gere film An Officer And A Gentleman.
He was also be remembered for his 1975 hit You Are So Beautiful.
Cocker was nominated for a Brit Award for Best British Male in 1993 and, in 2007, the rock legend was awarded the OBE for services to the music industry.
The singer never stopped releasing new material, topping the charts in Germany just last year.
His last gig came in Hammersmith, London, in June this year.
One of our favorite songs by Joe Cocker is You Can Leave Your Hat On:
He was pulled back from the brink by his Wife Pam, who he met in 1978 and married in 1987.
In an interview last year, the singer revealed, “It was Pam who helped me get myself back together. She made me think positively. I was very down on myself. She made me realize people still wanted to hear me sing, and convinced me I could escape the downward spiral.
“So I kept going. In America, I’d become a cartoon character, but my European fans were loyal. Even when I was at my most crazed, throwing my shoes into the crowd at gigs, they stuck with me. That helped me to rediscover my focus.”
Edgar Berger, chairman and chief executive of Sony Music Entertainment International that signed Cocker, stated, “Joe Cocker is a legendary artist of rock and blues history and yet he was one of the most humble men I’ve ever met. His iconic voice will forever be etched in our memories and our thoughts go out to Joe’s wife Pam and his family at this difficult time. Joe will live on in the hearts of millions of fans around the world.”
Beatles drummer Ringo Starr paid tribute to his friend, saying: ‘Goodbye and God bless to Joe Cocker from one of his friends, peace and love.’
Cocker is survived by his wife of 27 years, Pam; his brother, Victor; his step-daughter, Zoey Schroeder; and his two grandchildren, Eva and Simon Schroeder.