Legendary soul singer, songwriter, and guitarist Bobby Womack has died after a long string of illnesses. Womack began his musical career at age 10 playing shows with his family, but his first claim to fame was with his band The Valentinos. The Valentinos toured with James Brown, and had their 1964 single “It’s All Over Now” covered by The Rolling Stones. By the late 60s, Womack was playing guitar for Aretha Franklin and writing songs for Sly & The Family Stone, Wilson Pickett, and Janis Joplin. With his 1968 LP Fly Me To The Moon, Womack’s solo career took off, leading to several successful albums including Communication, Understanding, and the hit soundtrack to the blaxploitation film Across 110th Street.
Despite being diagnosed with both colon cancer and Alzheimer’s in 2012, he released the critically-acclaimed album The Bravest Man In The Universe, and had been working on a new album titled The Best Is Yet To Come, due later this year. Although Womack may have passed on, his legacy lives on in the many musicians he inspired. “Across 110th Street” was used to score Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown as well as several video games and has been sampled in 27 songs, including tracks by Big K.R.I.T. and Raekwon. Other hits by Womack have provided samples for 50 Cent, Mariah Carey, Kendrick Lamar, and many many others.