Soul Singer Bobby Womack has Died at the age of 70
The legendary singer Bobby Womack passed away last Friday (27th of June). His health had suffered in recent years, having been treated for colon cancer, and in 2013 he told fans that he had "signs of Alzheimer’s". In spite of this, he had reportedly been working with Snoop Dogg and Stevie Wonder recently on new material.
Womack was also in the process of recording his next album for XL Recordings, titled ‘The Best Is Yet To Come’ after enjoying a renaissance in recent years, appearing on the Gorillaz track 'Stylo' from the band's third album, 'Plastic Beach'. Despite his advancing years, he was still performing and appeared at the Glastonbury Festival in 2013.
The son of two musicians, Womack began his career as a member of Curtis Womack and the Womack Brothers with his siblings Curtis, Harry, Cecil and Friendly Jr. After Sam Cooke signed the group to his SAR Records in 1960, they released a handful of gospel singles before changing their name to The Valentinos and earning success with a more secular, soul- and pop-influenced sound. In 1964, one month after The Valentinos released their hit ‘It's All Over Now’, the Rolling Stones put out their version, which went to Number One on the UK singles charts.
After the death of Cooke, The Valentinos disbanded and Womack began working as a session musician, appearing on albums including Aretha Franklin’s ‘Lady Soul’. Womack’s solo career then took off in the early 70s, but stalled after the death of his brother Harry in 1974.
Throughout most of the Eighties the singer struggled with drug addiction, eventually checking himself into a rehabilitation centre for treatment. A series of health problems followed, including diabetes, pneumonia, colon cancer and the early signs of Alzheimer's disease, though it was unclear if any of these ailments contributed to his death.
Womack was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 2009. On his induction, he said: “My very first thought was — I wish I could call Sam Cooke and share this moment with him. This is just about as exciting to me as being able to see Barack Obama become the first black President of the United States of America! It proves that, if you're blessed to be able to wait on what's important to you, a lot of things will change in life."
Published: 02 July 2014