Bobby Womack, Vocalist and Songwriting Genius, Dies aged 70

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Bobby Womack, the soul singer and songwriter, died on Friday. He was 70. A representative for his label XL Recordings confirmed the death but provided no other details. Womack was a prolific vocalist, one of the greatest of all time, but he also penned hit tracks for the Rolling Stones, George Benson and Janis Joplin.

Bobby WomackBobby Womack performing in Liverpool in 2014

Womack, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009, played alongside Elvis Presley and was mentored by Sam Cooke. In later life he worked with Damon Albarn and created some of his best work on 2012's The Bravest Man in the World. 

Womack had long struggled with health issues and he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease last year. He was open about his addiction problems and survived prostate cancer as well as a scare of pneumonia. 

"Everybody's got personal problems," Womack said in a 2012 interview with The Times, "That's life. If you're strong enough and want to pull out, you can only pull out for the better."

More: Bobby Womack joins the old timers for Womad festival

Speaking before the release of Bravest Man, Womack cited his lost friends, from Cooke to Luther Vandross, as key motivation for returning to work.

"I'm standing up for all the artists I mentioned," he said. "I feel proud to represent them. I can say, 'This is what soul music is about.' If it doesn't reach the soul, there's no music. Music has to reach the soul. Soul music will last forever."

Womack may well be best remembered for his epic drug soaked track 'Across 110th Street', which spawned a movie of the same name and featured heavily in the Quentin Tarantino movie Jackie Brown

More: Check out our Bobby Womack picture gallery


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