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R&B Legend Bobby Womack Has Died at Age 70

Stuart C. Wilson, Getty Images

R&B legend Bobby Womack has died. While no cause of death has been determined, he battled colon cancer a couple of years ago and may have been in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. His current label, XL Recordings, broke the news.

Womack began his career when he was just 10 years old, singing with his brothers in a group formed in Cleveland. Music great Sam Cooke discovered them and persuaded them to change their name to the Valentinos. By the mid-’60s, they had racked up hits with songs like ‘Lookin’ for a Love’ (later covered by the J. Geils Band) and ‘It’s All Over Now,’ a song co-written by Womack and made famous by the Rolling Stones.

After the Valentinos broke up, Womack became a session guitarist, playing with Wilson Pickett, the Box Tops, Aretha Franklin and Janis Joplin. In the late ’60s he launched a solo career that included hits like ‘That’s the Way I Feel About Cha’ and ‘Across 110th Street’ that kept him busy through the mid-’70s.

By the mid-’80s, substance abuse problems pretty much stalled his career. But in 2009, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and a year later he appeared on Gorillaz’s ‘Plastic Beach’ album.

In 2012, Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn helped Womack secure his first record deal in years, with XL Recordings, and co-produced his comeback album, ‘The Bravest Man in the Universe,’ which included a duet with Lana Del Rey.

Even with his recent medical problems, he continued to make music, touring regularly. He was also working on a new album at the time of his death.

Here’s Gorillaz’s ‘Stylo’ featuring Womack:

Next: Other Artists We've Lost in 2014

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