In Memoriam | Joe Cocker 1944 – 2014

We’re sad to report that famed singer Joe Cocker has passed away at age 70 after a long battle with lung cancer. Cocker’s management team confirmed the sad news to ITV.

Cocker was born in Sheffield, England in 1944 and was best known for his gritty voice and his unusual stage presence, which was famously parodied by John Belushi. Joe had a way of adding his own spirit to the many covers he sang over the years with his version of The Beatles’ “A Little Help From My Friends” among his trademark performances. Cocker scored a number of hits over the years including 1975’s “You Are So Beautiful” and 1983’s “Up Where We Belong,” a duet with Jennifer Warnes.

In 1969 Cocker put together an immortal band dubbed “Mad Dogs and Englishmen” that was documented on a live album and film of the same name. The band featured over 30 musicians including Leon Russell, Jim Keltner and Rita Coolidge. In more recent years, Cocker focused on solo work. Billy Joel noted Joe’s condition back in September, when he told a crowd at MSG that Cocker was “not very well right now.”

Our thoughts and prayers are with Joe’s friends and family.

Read the official statement from Cocker’s label -Sony Music:

John Robert Cocker, known to family, friends, his community and fans around the world as Joe Cocker, passed away on December 22, 2014 after a hard fought battle with small cell lung cancer. Mr. Cocker was 70 years old.

Joe Cocker was born 5/20/1944 in Sheffield, England where he lived until his early 20’s. In 2007 he was awarded the OBE by the Queen of England.

His international success as a blues/rock singer began in 1964 and continues till this day. Joe created nearly 40 albums and toured extensively around the globe.

Watch Joe Cocker perform “The Letter” during the Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour:

Here’s Cocker’s version of “With A Little Help From My Friends” from Woodstock:

Check out John Belushi’s Joe Cocker imitation:

Worlds collided when Joe Cocker and John Belushi shared the stage:

Ringo Starr took to Twitter to share his condolences:

We’ve compiled additional Twitter remembrances of Joe Cocker: