He had just gotten off a flight from LA at Schiphol Airport near Amsterdam in the Netherlands today when Solomon Burke, the self-proclaimed "king of rock and soul," was pronounced dead. While the actual cause of death has not been officially announced so far, reportedly the 70 year old soul singer had a heart attack on the plane and could not be resuscitated.
Burke, whose hits included "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love" (see great 2003 concert footage below of him doing this song from his famous throne), was scheduled to perform in Amsterdam on Tuesday with the Dutch rock band De Dijk. He was also set to launch their collaborative album, Hold On Tight, which would have been his second album out this year. Burke, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, released his first album for Atlantic Records in 1962, wittily entitled Solomon Burke's Greatest Hits.
One of the most memorable events of his career was a run in with the Ku Klux Klan. Due to his country style hits at the time and never having seen him, they mistakenly believed that he was a white singer and booked Burke to entertain at one of their rallies. This he did, and amazingly, not only did he not get attacked, he was also a big hit at the event. Burke's vocal styles included country but were mainly soul, gospel, blues, and rock and during his illustrious career he released about 40 albums and continued working up until his sudden death today. He played two incredible instores at Amoeba back in 2005 that will never be forgotten by all those who attended. Rest In Peace, Solomon Burke.
Solomon Burke on Top of the Pops "Everybody Needs Somebody" (2003)