Bobby Womack, an iconic figure from the soul music era who influenced the likes of Rolling Stones and Damon Albarn, died Friday night. Womack, known as the preacher for the way he introduced songs with long speeches, was not just known for his incomparable voice, he was also a strong guitarist and songwriter with hits that influenced a generation of rock and R&B stars. Although he was never as famous as the likes of Al Green or Marvin Gaye, “pop stars of his time considered Mr. Womack royalty,” notes the New York Times. “His admirers included Keith Richards, Rod Stewart and Stevie Wonder, all of whom acknowledged their debt with guest performances on albums he made in his later years.”
Although Womack had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease two years ago, his death still came as a surprise considering he appeared to be in good health when he performed at the Bonaroo Music & Arts Festival earlier this month, notes the Associated Press. Womack struggled with drug addiction through most of the 1980s. But he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009 and then began a “career renaissance” with the 2012 release of The Bravest Man in the Universe, his first album in more than a decade, points out Rolling Stone.
Womack’s “songs and his voice have been so much a part of the fabric of so many musical lives,” said musician Peter Gabriel. “In recent years, it was great to see Richard Russell and Damon Albarn bringing his music back into our attention. He was a soul legend. Our thoughts and condolences are with his family and friends at this time.”
I'm so sad to hear about my friend Bobby Womack ~ the man who could make you cry when he sang has brought tears to my eyes with his passing.-- Ronnie Wood (@ronniewood) June 28, 2014
TODAY IN SLATE
I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.
Chief Justice John Roberts Says $1,000 Can’t Buy Influence in Congress. Looks Like He’s Wrong.
After This Merger, One Company Could Control One-Third of the Planet's Beer Sales
Hidden Messages in Corporate Logos
If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter
Giving Up on Goodell
How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.