Robust soul singer Solomon Burke — dubbed “The King of Rock and Soul” during a career that spanned five decades — died Sunday at an airport in Amsterdam airport.
He was 70.
A spokeswoman for Schiphol Airport confirmed that Burke, a Grammy Award winner, died but could not say whether he had died during his flight from Los Angeles or after he arrived at the airport.
While his style was largely country with a dash of gospel, Burke is perhaps most famous for penning the hit song “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love,” which was recorded by The Rolling Stones and appeared on the soundtrack to the classic comedy The Blues Brothers.
His song, “Cry to Me,” was featured in Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey’s 1987 film Dirty Dancing.
The legendary Atlantic Records producer Jerry Wexler once described Burke as “the best soul singer of all time.” He was also a preacher and ran a funeral home.
In 2001, Burke was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the same year as Michael Jackson and Paul Simon.
He is survived by 21 children, 90 grandchildren, and 19 great grandchildren.