Bobby Womack, the iconic purveyor of soul and R&B hits in the '70s and '80s, returned in June with his first album in over a decade, The Bravest Man in the Universe. In a recent interview with the Associated Press, Womack, who has recently been battling cancer, opened up about being sidelined from recording and outliving his peers.
"Can I tell you the honest truth? I've been through a lot, more than I've ever been through in my life, in the last two months," Womack said. "You know, I had prostate cancer, then they got rid of that and discovered I had colon cancer. Then after that my lungs completely shut down and they had to put me on a machine and I was out in a coma for 10 days. Then after that I had walking pneumonia — twice. So there's only so much the body can take. I want to go back to work, but the doctor says, `Man, you've got to rest 10 days and not do NOTHING.' He said, `Because we done lost you,' and he said, `It's a miracle you're walking around.'"
The Bravest Man in the Universe was created after Womack was contacted by Damon Albarn, lead singer of Gorillaz and Blur. Albarn produced the album along with Richard Russell for Russell's XL Recordings.
Womack said he had quit music as a way to retreat from a lifestyle that saw him plagued by drug abuse. Now he says he's inspired to carry on for the great and forgotten singers who came up with him and have since passed.
"I've got to represent some of the greatest soul singers that ever walked in life. I still feel that they don't get their propers for what really happened," he said. "Since I've outlived 90 percent of those people, I said, `Let me make a statement.'"
If his health holds up, the "Across 110th St." singer said he hopes to embark on a tour in support of Bravest later this year. He was recently the subject of a well watched episode of the TV One documentary series Unsung.
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(Photo: Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)