Joe Cocker, the British-born singer known for his chart-topping song "Up Where We Belong," passed away form lung cancer Sunday night (Dec. 21). He was 70.
According to the BBC, Cocker's agent Barrie Marshall confirmed the news. Condolences are coming in on Twitter.
"Goodbye and God bless to Joe Cocker," wrote the Beatles' drummer Ringo Starr.
Cocker hailed from Sheffield and had a bluesy style that earned him international popularity and acclaim. In addition to hits of his own, including the aforementioned Grammy-winning duet with Jennifer Warnes (sampled for Tupac's "White Man'z World" and Ultramagnetic MC's "Funky") and "Woman to Woman" (sampled in Tupac's "California Love"), Cocker grew to fame for his soulful covers.
The Beatles' Sir Paul McCartney told the BBC that he'd be "forever grateful" for turning their classic, "A Little Help From My Friends" into a "soul anthem."
"He was a great guy, a lovely guy who brought so much to the world and we'll all miss him," Sir Paul added.
Cocker was also well known for his performances. His 1970 Mad Dogs and Englishmen Tour of the U.S. featured more than 40 musicians and yielded a gold album and concert documentary of the same name. His final concert was in Hammersmith, London, this past June.
"He was without a doubt the greatest rock/soul voice ever to come out of Britain and remained the same man throughout his life," Marshall said. "...Anyone who ever saw him live will never forget him."
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(Photo: AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau, File)
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