Monday, April 24th, 2017

Al Jarreau, RIP

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Seven-time Grammy winner and Milwaukee native Al Jarreau passed away. He was 76. From Reuters:

Jarreau was hospitalized for exhaustion last week and forced to cancel his remaining tour dates for 2017. He announced on Wednesday he was giving up touring.

A post on his Facebook page on Thursday said he had been “recovering slowly and steadily.”

“His son reports that he caught his dad singing ‘Moonlighting’ to one of the nurses the morning … a very encouraging sign,” the post said of the theme song to the 1980s American television show starring Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd.

The “Moonlighting” theme, for which he wrote the lyrics, cemented his place in pop culture.

Jarreau was considered one of jazz’s greatest vocalists, with a mastery of scat singing and vocal percussion. But his smooth, breezy hit “We’re in This Love Together” from the 1981 album “Breakin’ Away” made him a mainstream commercial success.

Jarreau died hours before Sunday’s Grammy Awards, the biggest night of the year for the music industry.

“Breakin’ Away” won the Grammy for Best Pop Performance. He also won Grammys for best jazz vocal performance, best pop vocal performance, best R&B vocal performance, and most recently in 2006 for best traditional R&B vocal performance along with George Benson and Jill Scott for “God Bless the Child.”

From the Al Jarreau website announcement:

The family asks that no flowers or gifts are sent. Instead, please consider a contribution to the Wisconsin Foundation for School Music, a wonderful organization which supports music opportunities, teachers, and scholarships for students in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin. Link to the donation Page: http://foundation4schoolmusic.org/lifetime-achievement-award/al-jarreau/. Even if you do not plan to contribute, please visit that page and give yourself a minute to watch a beautiful tribute video which was produced by Wisconsin Public Television.

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