20 May 1944: Birthday of Joe Cocker, English singer-songwriter (d. 2014) (Source)

George Cocker in 2014 – photo by Thesupermat. (Source)

John Robert “Joe” Cocker OBE (20 May 1944 – 22 December 2014) was an English singer known for his gritty voice and dynamic stage performances that featured spastic body movements. Most of his best known singles were covers of songs by other artists, though he composed a number of his own songs for most of his albums as well, often in conjunction with songwriting partner Chris Stainton.[1]

His first album featured a recording of the Beatles‘ “With a Little Help from My Friends“, which brought him to near instant stardom. The song reached number one in the UK in 1968, became a staple of his many live shows, and became known to later generations as the theme song for the TV series The Wonder Years. He continued his successes with his his second album, which included a second Beatles cover, “She Came In Through the Bathroom Window“. Capitalizing on his success, a hastily thrown together 1970 U.S. tour led to the live double-album Mad Dogs & Englishmen, which featured an all-star band organized by Leon Russell. His 1974 cover of “You Are So Beautiful” reached number five in the US, and became his signature song. Cocker’s best selling song was the US number one “Up Where We Belong“, a duet with Jennifer Warnes that earned a 1983 Grammy Award. He released a total of 22 studio albums over a 43-year recording career.

In 1993, Cocker was nominated for the Brit Award for Best British Male, in 2007 was awarded a bronze Sheffield Legends plaque in his hometown and in 2008 he received an OBE at Buckingham Palace for services to music.[2][3] Cocker was ranked number 97 on Rolling Stones 100 greatest singers list. (Source)

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