Joe Cocker, the raspy-voiced British singer known for his frenzied cover of “With a Little Help From My Friends,” the teary ballad “You Are So Beautiful” and a contorted performing style uncannily parodied by John Belushi on “Saturday Night Live,” has died. He was 70.
His London-based agent, Barrie Marshall, said Cocker died Monday of lung cancer in Colorado, where he has lived for the past two decades. Cocker, an interpreter more than a writer, became a star through his dazzling transformation of the Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends.” Featuring a gospel-styled arrangement and furious call and response between Cocker and the backup singers, the song became a No. 1 hit in England and the highlight of his characteristically manic set at the Woodstock festival in 1969. In a statement Monday, Paul McCartney remembered hearing Cocker’s cover of the song he and John Lennon co-wrote for Ringo Starr and finding it “just mind blowing,” a “soul anthem.” “I was forever grateful for him for doing that,” McCartney said. “I knew him through the years as a good mate, and I was so sad to hear that he had been ill and really sad to hear today that he had passed away.” – See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/uticaod/obituary.aspx?n=joe-cocker&pid=173558813#sthash.scUHr3OJ.dpuf
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