Always dressed to the nines in the sharpest suits and finest bling, Solomon Burke was the ultimate soul star, loving, eating and indulging in life's joys, while belting out his blues with a smooth, impassioned voice. A large man with a charismatic personality, he grew up preaching in his family's gospel church in Philadelphia before signing to Apollo Records and making his name with the small hit You Can Run (But You Can't Hide) in 1956. Burke left Apollo after an altercation with manager Kae Williams, but his tracks Got To Get You Off My Mind, If You Need Me and The Price became popular on the R&B charts and inspired Britain's new generation of blues bands, with The Rolling Stones even covering Cry To Me. His song Down In The Valley was recognised as the first country soul track and was later covered by Otis Redding. And his classic Everybody Needs Somebody To Love became one of the great Rhythm & Blues standards, famously covered by Wilson Pickett and used in the Blues Brothers movie. After some lean years Burke's career had a second coming, with an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Grammy-winning album Don't Give Up On Me (2002), which featured songs written by Bob Dylan, Van Morrison and Brian Wilson and was named Album of the Year by Mojo Magazine. He celebrated his country roots with songs written by Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and Gillian Welch on the album Nashville (2006) and performed at the Glastonbury Festival in 2008 before dying on a plane in Amsterdam in 2010 from natural causes. Burke was survived by an incredible 21 children and 91 grandchildren.
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