Grammy-winning vocalist Al Jarreau, known for his work in pop, R&B and jazz, has died at the age of 76. He passed away on February 12. His death was announced by his manager Joe Gordon, who said that Jarreau had been hospitalised for exhaustion two weeks ago. On the advice of his doctors, he had cancelled his tour dates and retired from touring, reports nytimes.com.
In 1981, he had his biggest hit with the song “We’re in this love together”, which reached No.15 on the Billboard pop singles chart. He won his first Grammy in 1978, for best jazz vocal performance, for his album “Look to the Rainbow”. He won his last in 2007, for best traditional R&B vocal performance. The award was shared by Jarreau, George Benson and Jill Scott for their collaborative performance “God bless the child”.Jarreau did not begin a full-time musical career until he was nearly 30.
Although he made his initial mark in the jazz world, Jarreau’s style and his audiences crossed stylistic barriers. His music incorporated elements of pop, soul, gospel, Latin and other genres. He won six Grammys across three different categories: jazz, pop and R&B. He was also among the performers on a Grammy-winning children’s album “In Harmony: A Sesame Street Record”.
Among Jarreau’s best-known recordings was the theme song for the long-running television series “Moonlighting”, for which he wrote the lyrics to Lee Holdridge’s music. He appeared on Broadway as a replacement in the role of the Teen Angel in the 1994 revival of “Grease.” Jarreau’s first marriage to Phyllis Hall ended in divorce. He is survived by his wife, son Ryan, two brothers – Marshall and Appie, and sister Rose Marie Freeman.
Jarreau cancelled a number of concert dates in 2010 after experiencing heart and breathing problems during a European tour. He was hospitalised for 11 days, but resumed his touring schedule after his release, and had continued to perform until recently, reports nytimes.com.
Shortly after his 2010 hospitalisation, he said in an interview that his health problems had not been as serious as reports suggested, but joked that he appreciated the attention they received in the media because it proved that he was a celebrity. “I figured,” he said, “‘Yeah, maybe I have arrived.’”
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