Joe Cocker – Unforgiven
Joe Cocker, OBE (20 May 1944 – 22 December 2014) was an English rock and blues singer and musician who came to popularity in the 1960s. He was known for his gritty voice, spasmodic body movement in performance, and cover versions of popular songs, particularly those of The Beatles.
Cocker’s cover of The Beatles’ “With a Little Help from My Friends” reached number one in the UK in 1968. He performed the song live at Woodstock in 1969, and at the Party at the Palace concert for the Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II in 2002.
His version also became the theme song for the TV series The Wonder Years. His 1974 cover of “You Are So Beautiful”, reached number five in the US. Cocker was the recipient of several awards, including a 1983 Grammy Award for his US number one “Up Where We Belong”, a duet with Jennifer Warnes.
In 1993 Cocker was nominated for the Brit Award for Best British Male, in 2007 was awarded a bronze Sheffield Legends plaque in his hometown, and in 2008 he received an OBE at Buckingham Palace for services to music.Cocker was ranked number 97 on Rolling Stone’s 100 greatest singers list.
Throughout the 1980s, Cocker continued to tour around the world, playing to large audiences in Europe, Australia and the United States. In 1988, he performed at London’s Royal Albert Hall and appeared on The Tonight Show.
After Barclay James Harvest and Bob Dylan, Cocker was the first to give rock concerts in the German Democratic Republic, in East Berlin and Dresden. The venue, the Blüherwiese, next to the Rudolf–Harbig–Stadion, bears the vernacular name Cockerwiese (Cocker meadow) today.
He also performed for US President George H. W. Bush at an inauguration concert in February 1989. In 1992, his version of Bryan Adams’ “Feels Like Forever” made the UK Top 40.
In 1992, Joe Cocker teamed with Canadian rocker Sass Jordan to sing “Trust in Me”, which was featured on The Bodyguard soundtrack. At the 1993 Brit Awards, Cocker was nominated for Best British Male. Cocker performed the Saturday opening set at Woodstock ’94 as one of the few alumni who played at the original Woodstock Festival in 1969 and was well received.
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