The legendary soul singer Bobby Womack passed away this evening at the age of 70. A representative from Womack’s label, XL Recordings, confirmed the sad news to Rolling Stone. Although the cause of death is unknown, the singer had suffered health problems throughout his life and seven year storied career.
Womack began his career alongside his brothers, and formed Curtis Womack and The Womack Brothers. Signed by Sam Cooke in 1960, the brothers initially struck fame with gospel hits, but blurred genre barriers with secular and pop tunes under the new band name, The Valentinos.
But Womack is perhaps best known for his biggest solo hit, “If You Think You’re Lonely Now,” released in 1981. Unfortunately, Womack battled drug addiction, and he did seek help in a rehabilitation center. For years he suffered from diabetes, colon cancer, pneumonia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Despite his health issues, Womack was inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame and 2009. He also appeared on TV One’s “Unsung.”
Our heartfelt condolences to the Womack family. His presence in the music industry will be terribly missed.
For more on Bobby Womack’s career, including his song lauded as the first hip hop awareness song, head over to Elev8.
Watch Bobby Womack’s “Unsung” episode below.