BOBBY Womack, the highly influential singer-songwriter who inspired artists from the Rolling Stones to Damon Albarn, has died. He was 70.
Womack’s publicist Sonya Kolowrat said the singer died yesterday but had no other details to provide.
Womack was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease two years ago and dealt with a number of health issues, including prostate cancer.
He performed recently at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Tennessee and seemed in good health and spirits.
Womack caught the attention of the Stones in the 1960s and influenced many early rockers before fading from popular music for more than a decade.
Blur and Gorillaz frontman Albarn helped Womack reignite his career with 2012 comeback album The Bravest Man In The Universe.
Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood wrote on Twitter: “I’m so sad to hear about my friend Bobby Womack - the man who could make you cry when he sang has brought tears to my eyes with his passing.”
He added: “My heart goes out to his family & friends and everyone who loved his music. Bobby you will be greatly missed xx”
Gospel singer Candi Staton knew Womack since they were children and she toured with him.
“He had a style that nobody else could ever capture,” she said in a statement. “I loved him and I will miss him so, so very much.”
Womack had been due to perform at the Womad music festival at Charlton Park, Wiltshire, next month.
In a statement, Womad’s founder Peter Gabriel said: “I’m very sad to learn of Bobby Womack’s death. We were very proud to be having him closing this year’s Womad Charlton Park.
“His songs and his voice have been so much a part of the fabric of so many musical lives. In recent years, it was great to see Richard Russell and Damon Albarn bringing his music back into our attention. He was a soul legend. Our thoughts and condolences are with his family and friends at this time.