Home > R.I.P. > ‘King of Rock and Soul’ Solomon Burke dies at Amsterdam airport; he was 70

‘King of Rock and Soul’ Solomon Burke dies at Amsterdam airport; he was 70

King of Rock and Soul Solomon Burke

Philadelphia native, Grammy Award winner and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee (2001) ‘King and Rock and Soul’ Solomon Burke died on a plane at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam after arriving from Los Angeles.  Cause of death has not been confirmed at this time.  He was 70.

According to his website, Burke was born March 21, 1940, “to the sounds of horns and bass drums” at the United Praying Band The House of God for All People in West Philly and “from day one, literally God and gospel were the driving forces behind the man and his music.”

Burke was known for hit songs like “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love,” which was recorded by the Rolling Stones, Wilson Pickett and The Blues Brothers as well as “Cry To Me,” which was used in the hit movie “Dirty Dancing.”

He was a people’s performer and gave his audience an experience.  With that said, he would perform without a set list.  The audience provided said list.

“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,” says Burke. “The band truly feeds off the vibrations of the people, and we use no set list, playing whatever comes to people’s minds or songs that people have emailed us and requested we play. Every show is a request show, and each audience in each city has different personal favorites. It’s like turning back the hands of time instantly. We can be in the middle of singing something from my recent Like A Fire album, and they’ll call out ‘Stupidity’ from 1957 and we’re back 50 years!

“What’s fun is that the audiences in both Europe and America range in age from five years old to my age and older, and the kids know these songs,” he adds. “They think I’m a big black Santa Claus, and I love them and always make sure to play what they want to hear. Still, no matter how much joy I’m having and sharing on the road, the best part of traveling is always coming home. You don’t realize the value of what you’ve done in your life until you leave castles with cooks and waiters and stages where you’re playing before thousands of people. You come home and your grandchild says, ‘Can you make me a hamburger?’ and suddenly everything seems so real.”

His godson Darryl “DA” Williams of Full Cirkle Media Group, also a native of Philadelphia, says his godfather was kind and loving man as well as living musical history.

Legendary Atlantic Records producer Jerry Wexler once called Burke, “the best soul singer of all time.”

Burke once performed for his fan Pope John Paul II at the Vatican (2000).

The King of Rock and Soul called his 21 children (14 daughters and 7 sons), 90 grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren his greatest achievement.

Many musical legends have died this year to join the great choir in the sky.

Categories: R.I.P.
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