Singer-songwriter Joe Cocker, known for his distinct, bluesy voice and his heartfelt renditions of Beatles classics, died in his Colorado home on Monday following a battle with lung cancer.
The British singer's agent, Barrie Marshall, confirmed the death, adding that Cocker was "simply unique" and "it will be impossible to fill the space he leaves in our hearts."
Joe Cocker parlayed Ray Charles-ish vocals and an eccentric stage presence into a string of late-'60s hits only to suffer from his excesses in drugs and alcohol by the mid-1970s. In the 1980s and 1990s, however, he went from tragic figure to well-respected interpreter, and his gritty, powerful voice remains one of the most distinctive in rock & roll.
Cocker's career turned around in 1982. A duet with Jennifer Warnes, "Up Where We Belong," from the movie An Officer and a Gentleman hit Number One. Since then, several other Cocker songs have graced films, including his version of Randy Newman's "You Can Leave Your Hat On" (9 1/2 Weeks, 1986) and "When the Night Comes" (An Innocent Man, 1990). The latter, a dramatic hard-rock ballad co-written by Bryan Adams, hit Number 11 in 1990.
Cocker, who moved to Colorado in 1991, continues to record and tour — sometimes accompanied by old friend Chris Stainton — and remains a popular live attraction in Europe. His 1994 album, Have a Little Faith, hit the U.K. Top 10, and at the request of his German label he revisited several songs from his own catalogue, including "You Are So Beautiful" and "Delta Lady," on 1996's Don Was–produced Organic.
Last year, his arena tour across Europe saw him achieve a number one album in Germany and give what was to be his final concert in Hammersmith, London, in June.
Barrie Marshall said it was with "the heaviest hearts we heard that our beloved Joe Cocker passed away last night". He described Cocker as a "true star" who was also "a kind and humble man who loved to perform. “Anyone who ever saw him live will never forget him," he added.
And now, to pay tribute for the legend who has passed away from this world, but not from our hearts, let’s watch his full Live Concert on www.iconcerts.com !
Hats off Joe !