Grammy award-winning US singer Solomon Burke, crowned “the king of rock and soul” during a career spanning five decades, was pronounced dead yesterday at Amsterdam airport. He was 70 years old.
A spokeswoman for Holland’s Amsterdam-Schipol airport confirmed that Burke had died but could not say whether he had died during his flight from Los Angeles or after he arrived at the airport.
“I can confirm that Solomon Burke is dead,” spokeswoman Antoinette Spaans said.
Burke, whose songs found new audiences through the sound tracks for movies such as The Blues Brothers and Dirty Dancing, was to have given a concert in Amsterdam’s Paradiso venue tomorrow with Dutch group De Dijk, with whom he has recorded an album.
An ordained church minister, Burke continued to sing and perform around the world. In recent interviews, he had made clear that he had no intention of retiring despite celebrating his 70th birthday.
“I’m still on a journey walking up the King’s Highway, carrying that seed of hope and spreading that word that love is the answer,” he told the USA Today newspaper.
Born on March 21, 1940 in Philadelphia, the rhythm ’n’ blues star was most famous for Everybody Needs Somebody to Love which was recorded by the Rolling Stones and became the hit song from the 1980 film The Blues Brothers.
According to his official Web site, which lists the late Pope John Paul II as among his fans, Burke was father to 21 children and had 90 grandchildren.
British singer Lily Allen accepted damages Thursday from the publisher of a football magazine about a fake interview in which she was quoted making offensive remarks about David and Victoria Beckham.
The High Court in London was told that the French magazine So Foot claimed in its May 2009 issue that in the interview Allen had also made remarks about British singer Cheryl Cole and her then husband, Chelsea soccer player Ashley Cole.
The singer’s lawyer Mark Thomson said the publishers accepted Allen, 25, had not given any such interview and they had agreed to apologize and also “pay the claimant damages and legal costs.”
Thomson said So Press now accepted “that the claimant did not make the statements attributed to her in their magazine and that, contrary to their previous understanding of the position, no interview in fact took place with the claimant.”
In other legal news, the trial of three people charged with keeping former Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith loaded up on painkillers went to the jury on Friday after two months of testimony. Prosecutors ended final arguments, allowing the judge to hand the case to the 12-member jury that will decide whether Smith’s companion, Howard K. Stern, and her two doctors, Khristine Eroshevich and Sandeep Kapoor, are sent to prison.