Legendary English rock and blues singer Joe Cocker, famous for his raspy, hulking voice and impassioned stage presence, passed away in his home in Crawford, Colorado, after battling lung cancer. He was 70 years old.
Coming out of the pub rock scene in and around his hometown of Sheffield, the singer rose to prominence in the late 1960s, when his iconic rearrangement of the Beatles’ “With A Little Help From My Friends” (featuring Jimmy Page on guitar) became an international hit; the song was performed live at the original Woodstock festival, and later used as the opening theme for The Wonder Years. Following the cover’s success, Cocker’s performances became more influenced by the blues, garnering comparisons with the Rolling Stones’ “English Americana.” In 1974, he scored another big hit with “You Are So Beautiful,” written by Billy Preson, Bruce Fisher, and Dennis Wilson.
Cocker wrote very little of his own material, yet kept recording covers and touring up until 2012. Listen to some of his most-acclaimed song renditions below: