Frank Micelotta/Frank Micelotta/Invision/AP
Bobby Caldwell, a soulful R&B singer and songwriter who had a significant hit in 1978 with “What You Will not Do for Love” and a voice and musical type adored by generations of his fellow artists, has died, his spouse stated Wednesday.
Mary Caldwell advised The Related Press that he died in her arms at their residence in Nice Meadows, New Jersey, on Tuesday, after a protracted sickness. He was 71.
The sleek soul jam “What You Will not Do for Love” went to No. 9 on the Billboard Scorching 100 and No. 6 on what was then referred to as the Scorching Promoting Soul Singles chart. It grew to become a long-term customary and career-defining hit for Caldwell, who additionally wrote the music.
The music was lined by artists, together with Boyz II Males and Michael Bolton, and was sampled by Tupac Shakur on his posthumously launched music “Do For Love.”
Different Caldwell songs had been sampled by hip-hop artists together with The Infamous B.I.G., Frequent, Lil Nas X and Likelihood the Rapper.
Tales abound, a lot of them shared on social media after his loss of life, of listeners being stunned to study that Caldwell was white and never Black.
Caldwell appeared solely in silhouette on the self-titled debut solo album on which “What You Will not Do for Love” seems.
“Caldwell was the closing chapter in a era during which report execs needed to cover faces on album covers so maybe perhaps their artist may have an opportunity,” Questlove stated on Instagram.
“Thanks to your voice and present #BobbyCaldwell,” Questlove wrote.
Likelihood the Rapper shared a screenshot on Instagram of a direct message trade he had with Caldwell final 12 months when he requested to make use of his music.
“I will be honored for those who pattern my music,” Caldwell wrote.
“You’re such an inspiration to me and lots of others,” Likelihood advised him. He stated within the publish that he had by no means been thanked for sampling a music earlier than and has “not felt damaged like this at a stranger’s passing in so lengthy.”
Born in New York and raised in Miami, Caldwell was the son of singers who hosted a musical selection TV present referred to as “Suppertime.” A multi-instrumentalist, he started performing professionally at 17, and acquired his break enjoying guitar in Little Richard’s band within the early Seventies. Within the mid ’70s, Caldwell performed in varied bar bands in Los Angeles earlier than touchdown a solo report deal.
Caldwell would by no means have a success that got here shut in prominence to “What You Will not Do for Love,” however he launched a number of revered albums, together with Eighties “Cat in The Hat” — on which he appeared prominently on the duvet carrying a fedora — and 1982’s “Carry On,” on which he was his personal producer and performed all of the devices.
His music “Open Your Eyes” from “Cat in The Hat” was lined by John Legend and sampled by Frequent on his Grammy-nominated 2000 single “The Mild.”
Within the Nineties, Caldwell shifted to recording and performing American requirements, together with songs made standard by Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole, he liked in his youth.
Along with Mary, his spouse of 19 years, Caldwell is survived by daughters Lauren and Tessa and stepdaughter Katie.