The legendary rock and blues singer song-writer from Sheffield enjoyed a fruitful music career lasting more than 40 years with hits including “You Are So Beautiful”, “Up Where We Belong” and “Unchain My Heart”.
His agent Barrie Marshall confirmed via the BCC that Joe Cocker had died of an undisclosed illness. Marshall also said that he was “simply unique” and “it will be impossible to fill the space he leaves in our hearts.
“He was without the doubt the greatest rock/soul voice ever to come out of Britain- and remained the same man throughout his life. Hugely talented, a true star, but a kind and humble man who loved to perform. Anyone who ever saw him live will never forget him.”
Known for his growling, soulful vocals and his spasmodic body movements during his performances, Cocker began his singing career in the pubs and clubs of Sheffield in the 1960s before becoming successful. He was propelled to pop stardom when his version of The Beatles’ “With A Little Help from My Friends” reached number one.
His duet with Jennifer Warnes, “Up Where We Belong” – from An Officer And A Gentleman – hit number one and went on to win both a Grammy and an Academy Award. He was honoured with an OBE in 2007.
Who can forget his legendary performance at the historic Woodstock 1969. RIP.