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Home / Entertainment / Stones lead tributes to R&B legend Womack – Telegraph.co.uk
Stones lead tributes to R&B legend Womack – Telegraph.co.uk

Stones lead tributes to R&B legend Womack – Telegraph.co.uk

“He was a true pioneer of soul and R&B, whose voice and songwriting touched millions.

“His talents put him up there with the greats. We will remember him, first and foremost, as a friend.”

In a personal message, Wood, who inducted Womack into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009, said 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.

“My heart goes out to his family & friends and everyone who loved his music. Bobby you will be greatly missed.”

Rod Stewart also paid tribute, telling of his love for Womack’s 1973 album, Facts Of Life.

In a statement, the Maggie May singer said: “I must have listened to Facts Of Life for months. What an influence, what a voice, so long Bobby.”

Fellow R&B singer Calvin Richardson said was “one of the greats.”

Womack, whose hits include Lookin’ for Love, had also been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease two years ago.

He had also overcome addiction and suffered numerous other health problems but was still performing, having released a new album in 2012.

Earlier this month he played at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Tennessee and was due to perform at the Womad music festival at Charlton Park, Wiltshire, next month.

The son of steelworker, Womack was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1944. As a child he formed a gospel group with his brothers, performing on the Midwest gospel circuit as the Womack Brothers, accompanied by their mother on the organ and their father on the guitar.

Womack and his brothers later toured with Soul Stirrers and in 1961 were signed by the group’s lead singer, R&B legend Sam Cooke.

Aged 16, Womack dropped out of school and moved to California and under Cooke’s tutelage the group changed their name to the Valentinos.

In the early 1960s the Valentinos recorded “It’s All Over Now,” which was covered and by the Stones and became the band’s first number-one hit.

The Valentintos broke up following Cooke’s death in a shooting in 1964 aged 33.

Controversially, Womack later married Cooke’s widow Barbara, which led to a falling out with his brothers.

By the 1970s he had developed a cocaine habit. He then spent a period of time in rehab in the 1980s.

Damon Albarn helped Womack regain his career with 2012 comeback album, The Bravest Man in the Universe, his first in more than 10 years, .

Mr Albarn said in March: “He’s a beautiful person and when he opens his mouth and that voice comes out, it is something that is somehow touched by God.”


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