John Robert Cocker, known to family, friends, his community and fans around the world as Joe Cocker, passed away on December 22nd after a hard fought battle with small cell lung cancer. He was 70 years old.
“Joe Cocker is a legendary artist of rock and blues history and yet he was one of the most humble men I’ve ever met. His iconic voice will forever be etched in our memories and our thoughts go out to Joe’s wife Pam and his family at this difficult time. Joe will live on in the hearts of millions of fans around the world.” Edgar Berger, Chairman and CEO, Sony Music Entertainment, International, who had signed Joe Cocker to Sony Music Entertainment.
Cocker was born May 20, 1944 in Sheffield, England where he lived until his early 20’s. An outstanding interpreter of songs, his successes include a Number One single in the UK in November 1968 with his version of the Beatles’ ‘A Little Help from My Friends’. Joe’s career took off considerably after he performed this song at the Woodstock Festival in August 1969.
“His iconic voice will forever be etched in our memories.”
Cocker is also well known for his epic ‘Mad Dogs and Englishmen’ Tour of 1970, which featured over 40 musicians touring 48 cities across the US, resulting in a third gold album by the same name and a concert film. Just over ten years later, Cocker then won his first Grammy in 1983 on a duet with Jennifer Warnes called ‘Up Where We Belong’, the theme from the 1982 film ‘An Officer and a Gentleman’.
Cocker went onto receive an OBE (Order of The British Empire) in 2011 for his contribution to music. One of the most prolific artists of his era, Joe Cocker released 40 albums in his 50 year career.
Cocker enjoyed long walks in the mountains with his dogs, fly fishing in the Black Canyon, playing snooker with friends and growing tomatoes in his greenhouse year-round.
Cocker is survived by his wife, Pam, of Crawford; his brother Victor Cocker of Norfolk, England; his step daughter, Zoey Schroeder of Stevenson Ranch, CA and two grandchildren, Eva & Simon Schroeder.
A private memorial is planned. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Cocker Kids’ Foundation, P.O. Box 404, Crawford, CO. 81415.
As expected, the music community has expressed their feelings on social media.
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.