Joe Cocker died of lung cancer yesterday, December 22, 2014, in Crawford, Colorado, at the age of 70. He infused cover versions of such hits as the Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends” and “She Came In Through The Bathroom Window”, Traffic’s “Feelin’ Alright”, and The Boxtops’ “The Letter” with his uniquely passionate and heartfelt emotional expression, which was also evidenced in his original releases of songs like “Up Where We Belong (sung with Jennifer Warnes in the movie “An Officer and a Gentleman”) and “You Are So Beautiful”. 

His trademark gyrations and soulful rendition of “With a Little Help From My Friends” uplifted and inspired the nearly one million members of the audience at Woodstock and became iconically associated with Mr. Cocker to such an extent that John Belushi’s impersonation of him on Saturday Night Live, performing live onstage alongside Joe, achieved its own cult status. You can see a YouTube clip of John Belushi’s impersonation, as well as Joe’s good natured response here.

According to the many obituaries and tributes that have come out since Joe Cocker’s passing, he was a much-loved and respected member of the tight-knit community of Crawford, Colorado, and his philanthropy and love were well-reflected in his daily life. Those who knew him well will miss him as a friend and mate, and those of us who were inspired by his empathetic and soulful performances will miss his inspirational expression.

For more on the man and his music, please refer to these articles below:

The Denver Post

The New York Post

The New York Times

LA Times

The Telegraph (London)

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