Renowned British rock singer Joe Cocker has died. Sony Music announced that the Grammy Award-winning musician died Monday after a battle with lung disease. He was 70.
“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,” Sony Music said in a statement, according to ITV.
Cocker, a blues and rock 'n' roll soul singer, was best known for his 1969 cover of the the Beatles' hit song "With a Little Help From My Friends." His last album, "Fire It Up," was released in November 2012, nearly 50 years after he signed his first record deal. Cocker released more than 40 studio records. His 2010 record “Hard Knocks" was a platinum seller. Other hit records released in the past decade included “Hymn for My Soul,” “Heart & Soul,” “Respect Yourself” and “No Ordinary World.”
Cocker prided himself on making each album original. “Making an album, to me, is a bit like making a painting,” he said about the creative direction of his most recent record in an interview for his official website. "You know, you’ve got 12 songs, and it’s color -- I don’t like everything to be one mood.”
Cocker's international music success led to his receiving the OBE from the Queen of England in 2007, reports ITV. When he wasn’t singing and songwriting, he was involved in charity work. Cocker and his wife, Pam, ran the Cocker Kids’ Foundation out of Delta County, Colorado. The nonprofit works to aid youths in education, recreation, the arts and athletics.
Cocker was a Sheffield, England, native. He is survived by his wife; a brother, Victor; a stepdaughter, Zoey Schroeder; and two grandchildren, Eva and Simon Schroeder.