R&B singing legend Solomon Burke, also known as “the Bishop of Soul” and “ the King of Rock and Soul,” died at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport at the age of 70, The Associated Press reported.
His death was confirmed today by airport spokesman Robert van Kapel. There has been no word on the cause of death.
Burke was scheduled to perform at an Amsterdam club on Tuesday. According to his Web site, the show was in support of his upcoming work, “Hold On Tight,” a collaboration with the Dutch group De Dijk.
The singer racked up several soul and pop hits in the 1960s, particularly for the Atlantic Records label, such as “Just Out of Reach (Of My Two Empty Arms)," "Cry to Me," "Got to Get You Off My Mind," "You’re Good for Me" and "Tonight’s The Night." Atlantic Records producer Jerry Wexler said: “The best soul singer of all time is Solomon Burke.”
Born in Philadelphia on March 21, 1940, Burke’s musical roots came from his church upbringing. Among the acts that influenced him were Duke Ellington, Gene Autry, Dinah Washington and Ray Charles. He signed first with Apollo Records in the mid 1950s before joining Atlantic Records in 1960 where he garnered success.
Burke was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001 and won a Grammy in 2002. His music has been performed by such artists such as Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, the Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen.
An active performer, the singer’s recent album was “Nothing’s Impossible,” produced by the late Willie Mitchell, who was best known for his work with Al Green.
“The thing I most enjoy is the people, the audience, just the thrill of being out there making personal contact and having the deeply spiritual experience of sharing music with so many grateful fans,” Burke once said on his Web site about performing