Al Jarreau, Grammy-winning pop and jazz musician passed away on 12 February 2017. He was 76. The notification of his death was given by his manager Joe Gordon who said that the late artist had been hospitalised for exhaustion two weeks ago and it was on the advice of the doctors that Jarreau had cancelled his latest tour dates.
He was born into a musical household in Milwaukee on 12 March 1940. His mother was a piano teacher and father, a minister and singer. He completed his masters in vocational rehabilitation from the University of Iowa and then moved to San Francisco in late 1960s. He did not begin a full-time musical career until he was nearly 30.
His first major music gig was when he was selected by Warner Bros. Records to sing in the 13th episode of NBC’s new Saturday Night Live on the occasion of Valentine’s Day in 1976. In the same year, he released his debut album ‘We Got By’ that got him international recognition. He also won the Echo award for the album (the German equivalent of the Grammy’s). He won his first Grammy award- Best Jazz Vocal Performance in 1978 for his album, ‘Look to the Rainbow’.
His other major hits include ‘We’re in This Love Together’, ‘Breakin’ Away’ and the theme song of a popular TV show, ‘Moonlighting’. He was also one of the musicians in the all-star lineup who sang ‘We Are the World’, in 1985. The song helped raise money for famine relief in Africa.
Al Jarreau earned the nickname ‘Acrobat of Scat’ due to his innovative vocal styling. Overall, He has released more than 20 albums and won a total of seven Grammy Awards. He remained a performer right until the end, as he retired from touring only a week before his death.
Jarreau in his last public statement, which was released through his twitter profile, stated that he was thankful for his 50 years of travelling the world through music and for everyone to share this with him including his loyal audience, dedicated musicians and all others who supported him throughout his journey. He is survived by his wife, Susan and son Ryan.