BURKE, who was inducted into the ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME in 2001 and won a GRAMMY for Best Contemporary Blues Album in 2003 for "Don't Give Up On Me," died of apparent natural causes on a flight from LOS ANGELES to AMSTERDAM. He was 70.
Born in PHILADELPHIA and starting his career as a preacher, BURKE signed with ATLANTIC RECORDS in 1961 and had several R&B hits, the best-known including "Cry to Me" (later revived in the movie "DIRTY DANCING") and "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love," covered by the ROLLING STONES, WILSON PICKETT, the 13th FLOOR ELEVATORS, and THE BLUES BROTHERS, among others.
BURKE's biggest pop chart hits included "Just Out Of Reach (Of My Two Open Arms)" (#24 in 1961), "If You Need Me" (#37 in 1963), "Goodbye Baby (Baby Goodbye)" (#33 in 1964), "Got to Get You Off My Mind" (#22 in 1965), and "Tonight's the Night" (#28 in 1965). He also appeared in the film "The Big Easy." His final album "Hold On Tight," a collaboration with Dutch band DE DIJK (with whom he was scheduled to perform in AMSTERDAM this week), is being released this month.
He's a 30-stone ladies' man with 89 grandchildren; a mortician-turned-preacher who claims to be a king; a friend of Malcolm X who played for the Ku Klux Klan... Ahead of his performance at Glastonbury tonight, Solomon Burke, soul legend, tells his amazing, contradictory life story...