Pioneering soul singer Solomon Burke died of natural causes today (October 10, 2010) on the way to one of his many concerts.
The singer, known as “The King of Rock & Soul,” died on a plane at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam in Holland last night (October 10th), on the way to Amsterdam, at the age of 70.
Burke, who was born in Philadelphia, was on his way to give a concert at Paradiso Hall with the Dutch band De Dijk.
Solomon Burke has sold over 17 million records in his lifetime. In addition to producing records, Burke was great at producing babies.
He is survived by 21 children, 90 great grandchildren and 19 great-great grandchildren.
Solomon Burke, born James Solomon McDonald, cut his teeth on the road, alongside acts like Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, Little Willie John and others.
He was signed to Atlantic Records and toured on Henry Wynn’s Supersonic Tour, which included artists like The Drifters, B.B. King, Dion and Sam Cooke.
Solomon Burke’s first big hit was “Just Out of Reach (Of My Two Empty Arms)” in 1961.
He subsequently notched hit singles like “Every Body Needs Someone to Love” and “Cry To Me,” which hit the charts again in the 1980’s on the Dirty Dancing soundtrack.
The Grammy Award winning singer has been sampled by a variety acts including T.I., Dr. Dre, Raekwon and Ghostface and others.
Solomon Burke, aka The Wonder Boy Preacher, also cooked for the artists backstage.
“He used to cook chicken backstage, charge you a dollar for a sandwich man,” Bobby Womack said of Solomon Burke. “He could turn out the house, but he’d always be late getting onstage, because he was ‘I can’t come now. the Chicken is gonna burn!”
Solomon Burke was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.