US soul singer Solomon Burke, who wrote the classic song Everybody Needs Somebody to Love, has died at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport aged 70.

The former preacher turned singer had been due to perform at a well-known club in the city on Tuesday.

The self-proclaimed King of Rock & Soul was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001 and won a Grammy in 2003.

Burke leaves behind 21 children and 90 grandchildren.

Dutch national broadcaster NOS said he died on a plane early on Sunday after arriving on a flight from Los Angeles.

The cause of death has not yet been announced.
Dirty Dancing

Born in Philadelphia, he began his adult career as a preacher and hosted a gospel radio show.

In the 1960s, he signed with Ahmet Ertegun’s Atlantic Records – home to Ray Charles. His first hit record was a cover version of the country song Just Out Of Reach.

In 1962, he had another hit with the single Cry To Me, famously used 25 years later in the film Dirty Dancing.

Two years later in 1964, Burke wrote and recorded arguably his most influential song Everybody Needs Somebody to Love. It went on to be covered by artists including The Rolling Stones and Wilson Pickett.

It was also performed by Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers.

Burke was inducted into the the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, the same year as Michael Jackson, Aerosmith and Island Records founder Chris Blackwell.

His career had something of a revival the following year with his record Don’t Give Up On Me, where he sang songs written by artists including Bob Dylan, Brian Wilson and Van Morrison.

It was named best contemporary blues album at the 45th Grammy Awards in 2003.

Burke, dubbed by legendary Atlantic Records producer Jerry Wexler as “the best soul singer of all time”, continued to perform and played Glastonbury’s Jazz World stage in 2008.

Earlier this year, he performed in Gateshead, Exeter and London’s Jazz Cafe, spending all of the gigs seated in his specially made throne.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Burke said: “As long as I have breath to do it, I’ll sing, with God’s help.”

Source: BBC