Chances are, if you play one of the legendary soul singer, Bobby Womack’s records in a club today, many will dance and even sing along. That is only a small portion of the legacy that Cleveland-born soul singer left before he died Friday, June 27, 2014 at the age of 70. He was suffering from colon cancer and diabetes at the time of his death. He was 70 years old.
The cause of death was unknown.
Womack’s career took off in the early 1960′s with the Valentinos, after Sam Cooke added the group to his roster at SAR Records. After Cooke’s death, Womack married his widow.
Womack went on to work as a session musician with Aretha Franklin and to become one of R&B’s most well-known voices, the man behind albums like “Across 110th Street,” “Facts of Life,” and “Lookin for a Love Again.”
“You know more at 65 than you did at 25. I understand the songs much better now,” he told Rolling Stone at that time.
In the 1980s, Womack grappled with drug addiction, and he suffered numerous health problems, including pneumonia, colon cancer and diabetes.
In 2012, Womack began a career renaissance with the release of The Bravest Man in the Universe, his first album in more than 10 years. Produced by Damon Albarn and XL’s Richard Russell, the album made Rolling Stone’s 50 Best Albums of 2012 alongside numerous other critical accolades. “You know more at 65 than you did at 25. I understand the songs much better now,” Womack told Rolling Stone at the time. “It’s not about 14 Rolls Royces and two Bentleys. Even if this album never sells a nickel, I know I put my best foot forward.” Upon his death, Womack was in the process of recording his next album for XL, tentatively titled The Best Is Yet to Come and reportedly featuring contributions by Stevie Wonder, Rod Stewart and Snoop Dogg.
Womack was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009. “My very first thought was — I wish I could call Sam Cooke and share this moment with him,” Womack said. “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.”