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Joe Cocker passes away at 70

The British singer has died after a long fight with lung cancer. Paul McCartney leads the tributes

By Kate Guest | Published: 23 Dec 2014

Photo: Getty Images

Joe Cocker has passed away at the age of 70 after a long battle with lung cancer. 

The British singer died at home on his ranch in Colorado, where he lived with his second wife, Pam. 

John Robert Cocker was born in Sheffield, in the north of England, in 1944. He got his big break when his covers band supported the Rolling Stones during a Sheffield gig in 1963. A year later, Cocker signed a solo record deal. 

Cocker became known for his rich, raspy voice. His hits included Up Where We Belong, a duet with Jennifer Warnes that won a Grammy and an Academy Award, but it was his soulful covers of the Beatles' With a Little Help From My Friends and the Box Tops' The Letter that he is best remembered for. His Beatles cover shot straight to number 1 in 1968, and his mesmerising performance of the song at Woodstock a year later was one for the ages. Watch it above.

Paul McCartney led tributes to the singer today. "He was a lovely northern lad who I loved a lot, and, like many people, I loved his singing," he said. Singer Bryan Adams said "RIP my good friend. You were one of the best singers EVER." Aerosmith's Steven Tyler said "We loved you forever, we will miss you always, RIP Joe Cocker." Bette Midler tweeted "There was never anyone like him and there never will be again."

RIP Joe Cocker. Up where you belong.


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