You could hear the life and the living in Bobby Womack’s voice. He was the gospel-trained son of a preacher man, who climbed back from the depths of addiction, had career highs and lows and was a most cherished protege of the great Sam Cooke. The soulful singer was back in the studio this year recording a new album alongside the likes of Snoop Dogg and Ron Isley. It’s apt title, The Best is Yet To Come.
According to Rolling Stone magazine, Womack passed away today at the age of 70. He had been known to suffer from a variety of ailments, including colon cancer, but the exact cause of his death is still unknown.
Born in Cleveland, Womack’s career goes back to the late 1950’s when the 10-year old Bobby joined his brother Curtis to tour on the gospel circuit. The Womack Brothers were eventually discovered by Cooke. Under his tutelage they transitioned to a secular, pop sound and scored a few hits. After Cooke’s death, Bobby struck out on his own as a songwriter. He penned hits for The Rolling Stones, Wilson Pickett and Aretha Franklin.
As a solo artist, Womack produced a couple of hit albums and released a popular single Lookin’ for a Love in 1971. He struck gold with the ballad If You Think You’re Lonely Now, but his career stalled as he struggled with drug addiction for a decade.
Bobby Womack was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009, where according to Rolling Stone, he said “My very first thought was — I wish I could call Sam Cooke and share this moment with him.”
Womack had a career resurgence with the release of Bravest Man in the Universe in 2012, and was still hard at work when he died.
Read more at The Rolling Stone.