Soul Singer Solomon Burke Dead at 70

Solomon Burke (
Solomon Burke (

Soul singer Solomon Burke died early today on an airplane in Amsterdam at the age of 70. A message from his family posted today on his official website said, "The legendary King of Rock & Soul, Solomon Burke, our father, passed away due to natural causes. Solomon had just arrived at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, the Netherlands for a sold out show at Paradiso with Dutch band, De Dijk.  He was on his way to spread his message of love as he loved to do."


Burke was known for 1960s hits such as "Cry to Me," which enjoyed a second life on the 1987 Dirty Dancing soundtrack; and "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love," which was covered by the Rolling Stones, Wilson Pickett and the Blues Brothers. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001. In later years the King of Rock and Soul was wheelchair-bound because of chronic weight-related problems and arthritis, but he adapted by performing on a throne. See one of those performances below, and read more about Burke's colorful life in the May 2010 Rolling Stone article "King Solomon's Sweet Thunder."

Sheryl Huggins Salomon is senior editor-at-large of The Root and a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based editorial consultant. Follow her on Twitter.

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