Solomon Burke

October 10, 2010 by Post Team 

Solomon Burke, AMSTERDAM – Solomon Burke, the larger than life “King of Rock and Soul”, whose songs blend soul, gospel, country and R & B, died early Sunday at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport to 70.

Born with the sound of music in an upstairs room of a church in Philadelphia, Burke was recognized as one of the soul singers of the 1960, but its popularity coincided with that of contemporaries like James Brown or Marvin Gaye .

Still, the legendary Atlantic Records producer Jerry Wexler once called Burke “the best soul singer of all time.”

Burke, a giant man with a powerful soul voice of party, joined the Atlantic in 1960 and went on to record a series of successes in a decade with the label.

Burke family said on his website he died of natural causes, but gave no further details.

“This is a time of great sorrow for the whole family. I really appreciate all the support and good wishes from friends and fans,” the statement said.

“Although our hearts and our lives will never be the same, love, life and music will live within us forever,” he added.

Two of Burke’s best known songs were driven by featuring on the soundtracks of popular movies.

Wrote “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love” in 1964 and was introduced later in the Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi movie “The Blues Brothers.” The Rolling Stones, Wilson Pickett also recorded.

His song “Cry To Me” appears in the background as bare-chested Patrick Swayze to Jennifer Grey danced seductively in one of the most memorable scenes from the movie “Dirty Dancing.”

According to its website, Burke was born on March 21, 1940, “to the sounds of trumpets and drums” in the United Prayer Band The House of God to all people in West Philadelphia.

“From day one, literally, God and the Gospel were the driving forces behind the man and his music,” says their website.

He remained closely linked to the church as a preacher. In 2000, he played in the then Pope John Paul II at the Vatican.

Schiphol Airport police spokesman Robert van Kapel confirmed that Burke was killed in a plane at Schiphol. He arrived early Sunday on a flight from Los Angeles and had been scheduled to perform a show sold Tuesday at a church converted into a concert hall in Amsterdam with the local band De Dijk.

Burke was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001 and won the Best Contemporary Blues Album Grammy a year later for “Do not Give Up On Me.”

Honors renewed interest by the singer and traveled extensively around the world in recent years.

Burke and his band played without lists, instead of doing what the public wanted to hear.

“It’s like turning back the hands of time right away,” said on its website. “We may be in the middle of something to sing like a fire my recent album, and they will scream” stupidity “in 1957 and we are back 50 years!”

Burke combined his singing with the role of preacher and patriarch of a large family of 21 children, grandchildren, 90 and 19 great-grandchildren.

“Loving people,” he said in a recent performance in London, “is what I do.”


AP Mike Corder in The Hague contributed to this report.

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