Rock Star Joe Cocker Dies of Lung Cancer

Courtesy of Olaf Heine via 429records.com
Courtesy of Olaf Heine via 429records.com

Rock star Joe Cocker lost his battle with lung cancer at the age of 70. Joe Cocker’s legendary career spans over four decades, with hits like “Up Where We Belong” and “You Are So Beautiful.” Universally known for his raspy voice, Cocker got his start singing in nightclubs and pubs in England in the 1960s. It wasn’t long before Cocker starting making a name for himself, and he became a rock star in the United States.

Joe Cocker’s cover of The Beatles’ “With A Little Help From My Friends” reached Number 1 on The Billboard Hot 100 in 1968. Joe Cocker’s success enabled him to tour the world. Cocker’s most successful song was “Up Where We Belong,” a duet featuring Jennifer Warnes. The song reached Number 1 on the Billboard Charts, and won a Grammy and an Academy Award in 1983. “Up Where We Belong” was featured on the soundtrack for the movie, An Officer and a Gentleman. 

During his career, Cocker recorded 23 studio albums and 40 albums altogether. During the 1970s, Cocker struggled with alcohol addiction, but he still managed to tour across the world to sold-out shows. His reported alcoholism subsided in the late 1970s and Cocker went back to the studio to record numerous albums, including Luxury You Can Afford and I Can Stand a Little Rain. “You Are So Beautiful” was featured on Joe Cocker’s I Can Stand a Little Rain album, and the song reached Number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts. In 1999, the publication, Mojo, ranked Joe Cocker Number 58 on their “Top 100 Singers of All Time” list. Rolling Stones magazine ranked Cocker Number 97 on their “100 Greatest Singers of All Time” list in 2008.

In response to the devastating news of Joe Cocker’s death, Sir Paul McCartney stated, “He was a lovely guy who brought so much to the world.” Cocker’s longtime manager and friend, Barrie Marshall, said, “He was, without a doubt, the greatest rock/soul voice ever to come out of Britain and remained the same man throughout his life.” Joe Cocker’s ability to combine rock and soul music made him a well-respected artist throughout the world.

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