Joe Cocker Dead at Age 70: British Singer Dies After Lung Cancer Battle

Joe Crocker
Joe Cocker passed away on Dec. 22 at the age of 70 Franziska Krug/Getty Images

Beloved English singer-songwriter Joe Cocker, whose real name is John Robert Cocker, has passed away at the age of 70 after battling small cell lung cancer, Sony released in a statement to Us Weekly.

The award-winning “Unchain My Heart” hitmaker — with a trademark raw, soulful voice — lived in Sheffield, England, before moving to America and rising to fame in 1964, recorded nearly 40 albums well into his late 60s, including hit tracks like “You Are So Beautiful.” Cocker’s rendition of the Beatles' "With A Little Help From My Friends" at Woodstock in 1969 marked one of the most celebrated live performances ever.

Joe Cocker
Joe Cocker performs live on stage at Crystal Palace Bowl in London in June 1972. Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns

In 1983, he scored his first Grammy for his duet with Jennifer Warnes “Up Where We Belong.”

His agent Barrie Marshall told BBC the singer was “simply unique,” and “It will be impossible to fill the space he leaves in our hearts.” 

Cocker was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth in 2007.

"Goodbye and God bless to Joe Cocker from one of his friends, peace and love," Ringo Starr tweeted on Monday, Dec. 22.

Cocker is survived by his wife Pam; his brother, Victor; his stepdaughter, Zoey Schroeder; and his two grandchildren, Eva and Simon Schroeder.

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