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A Tragic Death of a Musical Legend: Joe Cocker
On December 22, 2014, Joe Cocker passed away after a bout with lung cancer. The 70 year old legend was born in Sheffield, United Kingdom. With his gritty and earthy voice, he will be remembered by some for his party hard antics and his unforgettable performance in woodstock. Many others will remember him for being the voice that helped remind them how beautiful they are during some of their most troublesome moments.
Though not as well known as his other musical contemporaries, Cocker has been at the mainstage of the 60s, 70s, and primarily the 80s. When his drug habits hit its climax, he was performing with the likes of Jimi Hendricks and Janis Joplin. When that perplexing habit came out of control, he managed to hold on to his life by finding the love of his life; Pam.
In 1978, Cocker and Pam Baker met, and Joe’s life turned for a much stabler, and better existence. According to him “It was Pam who helped me get myself back together,” Joe says. “She made me think positively. I was very down on myself. She made me realise people still wanted to hear me sing, and convinced me I could escape the downward spiral.”
The gritty singer did not always feel welcome by his fans, until he realized who truly stuck with him. Although he felt a bit of disconnect in the 70s with American fans, he felt his schoffeild natives and european fans were always loyal. He also found them as a source of inspiration and focus. He says, “even when I was at my most crazed, throwing my shoes into the crowd at gigs, they stuck with me. That helped me to rediscover my focus.”
So for me, I believe it is for those fans that stuck with him that he covered the beatles hit of the 60s. For those friends he had, and the beautiful wife and kids he will leave behind, I say rest in peace Joe Cocker for your awesome singing style and gifts(songs) to the world.
And with this, I give you his duet “Up where you belong,” with Jennifer Warnes instead of his other big hits because.. you already know you’re beautiful.
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