Legendary soul singer Bobby Womack died Friday at age 70. A representative for Womack’s label XL Recordings confirmed the singer’s death to Rolling Stone, but said the cause of death was currently unknown.
Womack began his career as a member of Curtis Womack and the Womack Brothers with his brothers Curtis, Harry, Cecil and Friendly, Jr. They later changed their name to the Valentinos..In 1964 the Valentinos released their hit “It’s All Over Now.,”
Womack left the group in 1965 and became a session musician then in 1968 in he released his debut album, Fly Me to the Moon.. A string of successful R&B albums would follow like Understanding and Across 110th Street, Facts of Life and Lookin for a Love Again.
Womack’s career stalled but revived in 1981 with the R&B hit “If You Think You’re Lonely Now.” which was his biggest hit.
Throughout most of the Eighties, Womack struggled with drug addiction and eventually checked himself into a rehabilitation center for treatment. He had a series of health problems including diabetes, pneumonia, colon cancer and the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Womack was declared cancer-free in 2012.
In 2012, Womack released The Bravest Man in the Universe, his first album in more than 10 years. Womack told Rolling Stone, “You know more at 65 than you did at 25. I understand the songs much better now. It’s not about 14 Rolls Royces and two Bentleys. Even if this album never sells a nickel, I know I put my best foot forward.” Upon his death, Womack was in the process of recording his next album for XL, tentatively titled The Best Is Yet to Come featuring contributions by Stevie Wonder, Rod Stewart and Snoop Dogg.
Womack was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009. Womack said, “My very first thought was — I wish I could call Sam Cooke and share this moment with him. This is just about as exciting to me as being able to see Barack Obama become the first black President of the United States of America! It proves that, if you’re blessed to be able to wait on what’s important to you, a lot of things will change in life.”