Seven-time Grammy winning vocalist Al Jarreau died at a Los Angeles hospital on Sunday, confirmed his website. Although the exact cause of his death is not yet known, Jarreau’s publicist Joe Gordon said that the singer was hospitalised for exhaustion. Jarreau was 76.
Jarreau was considered to be one of the most versatile singers of his time. Known as the “acrobat of scat”, he was popular for his jazz repertoire. However, Jarreau’s music included a lot of percussion, blues and funk as well. Later, he also ventured into the pop and rock genres. He could imitate the sound of almost every musical instrument, according to The Washington Post.
Jarreau released his first album, We Got By, in 1975 and he bagged his first Grammy Awards for his album Look to the Rainbow in 1978. However, it is reported that this was not his first recorded album, according to The New York Times. He had recorded an album, later released under the title 1965, a decade earlier.
His second Grammy Awards came with his second album Breakin’ Away in 1981. The song We’re in this love together ranked No. 15 on the Billboard pop singles chart. In 2007, he won two more Grammy Awards for his album, Givin’ it up, with guitarist George Benson. In 2001, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for jazz singing. Last week, his publicist Gordon had announced his retirement from touring.
Jarreau made his Broadway debut in 1996, playing Teen Angel in Grease. In 2004, Jarreau went back to jazz with his album Accentuate the Positive. Jarreau’s singing and performance style earned his the audience across musical genres.
Born on March 12, 1940, in Milwaukee, Jarreau was introduced to music at a very early stage. He sang gospel in church as well as doo-wop at street corners. He was also a part of the musical bands in college and graduate school. Jarreau started his musical career by singing at various jazz clubs.