Bobby Womack, soul legend, dies at age 70

By Daniel S Levine,

Bobby Womack, the legendary soul and R&B singer/songwriter, has died. He was 70 years old.

His label XL Recordings confirmed the news to Rolling Stone, but did not have the cause of death immediately available. Publicist Sonya Kolowrat also told the Associated Press that he died Friday.

Womack’s career launched in 1960 as a member of Curtis Womack and the Womack Brothers. Sam Cooke signed them to his record label, where they began with gospel singles. However, they soon changed their name to the Valentinos and switched to secular pop/soul singles. Their first big hit was “It’s All Over Now,” which the Rolling Stones covered just a month later. The Stones’ version became a No. 1 U.K. hit.

After Cooke died in 1964, Womack married his widow and the Valentinos ended. Womack began a career as a session musician, finding work with Aretha Franklin and others. His first solo album, Fly Me to the Moon, came out in 1968 and he continued producing successful albums until 1974.

Some of his hits include “Across 110th Street," "If You Think You're Lonely Now" and "I Wish He Didn't Trust Me So Much.”

Womack had overcome addiction, prostate cancer and colon cancer, but was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Still, his death is shocking, since he just performed at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival this month. It is also sad, since he recently released the acclaimed The Bravest Man in the Universe, which Rolling Stone called one of the best albums of 2012.

Womack was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009.

image courtesy of INFphoto.com

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