JOE COCKER R.I.P. 1944-2014

Singer Joe Cocker, best known for his cover of The Beatles’ With A Little Help From My Friends, passed away on December 22, 2014 in Crawford, Colorado after a hard fought battle with small cell lung cancer. He was 70. The Sheffield-born singer had a career lasting more than 40 years, with hits including You Are So Beautiful and Up Where We Belong. His agent, Barrie Marshall, said Cocker was “simply unique”. Sir Paul McCartney said he was a lovely guy who “brought so much to the world”. Cocker’s friend, Rick Wakeman, keyboard player for the rock band Yes, called his rendition of With a Little Help From My Friends “sensational” and said: “He had a voice that was just unique.” Wakeman told BBC Radio 2: “The great thing is with someone like Joe is what they leave behind, and that will be with us for years and years.” Other musicians to have paid tribute to Cocker include Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, who tweeted: “Goodbye and God bless to Joe Cocker.”

Known for his gritty voice, Cocker – a former gas fitter – began his singing career in the pubs and clubs of Sheffield in the 1960s before hitting the big time. He was propelled to pop stardom when his version of With A Little Help From My Friends reached number one in 1968. He performed the song at Woodstock in New York state a year later. – BBC

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