March 4, 1944 – June 27, 2014
Bobby Womack is widely considered one of the greatest R&B singers and songwriters the world has ever known. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Womack began his career singing in the family group, the Womack Brothers. Legend has it that when he was just eight years old, he broke a string on his father’s guitar, so the elder Womack replaced it with a shoelace and handed it back to his son who began to play it well enough that his dad went out and bought him one of his very own. The Womack Brothers began touring the Gospel circuit and soon caught the ear of Sam Cooke who signed them to his SAR Records. They then changed their name to the Valentinos and scored a 1961 hit with “Lookin’ For A Love.” That was soon followed by “It’s All Over Now,” a co-write by Womack which became an even bigger hit by the Rolling Stones in 1964. After Cooke was killed later that year, the label folded and the Womack Brothers split up. Womack went on to have a successful solo career throughout the ’70s and early ’80s, with such hits as “Harry Hippie,” “Woman’s Gotta Have It,” “Looking For A Love,” and “Across 110th Street.” Many of his songs have been prominently featured in films, television programs, and even games over the past few decades. During the mid-80s, Womack’s career was sidelined due to addiction problems, but he fought his way back, and a decade later, he jumped right back into his work. Womack was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009. And in 2010, his talent reached a whole new generation when he contributed lyrics and sang on “Stylo,” the lead track on the Gorillaz massively popular album, Plastic Beach. Two years later, Damon Alborn (Blur/Gorillaz) produced The Bravest Man In The Universe, Womack’s first album since 1994. The LP left critics gushing while earning the #36 slot on Rolling Stone‘s year-end best-of list. In the UK, The Guardian ranked it at #10 for the year while the Q Awards called it the Best Album of 2012. On June 27, 2014, Bobby Womack passed away at the age of 70. Cause of death was not immediately released.
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