Chuck Jackson, a legendary R&B singer known for charting several hits throughout the 1950s and 1960s, passed away, reports Variety. He was 85.
Jackson’s passing was confirmed by Ady Croasdell of Kent Records, a record label in the United Kingdom that issues his recordings through Ace Records.
“There are confirmed reports that one of the very greatest soul singers of all time, Chuck Jackson, died on February 16th,” Croasdell wrote on Facebook. “His 60s and 70s recordings are hugely important works, revered as much now as on release…His passing will be deeply felt around the world.”
Dionne Warwick, a labelmate and frequent collaborator of Jackson’s who also helped to bring the compositions of Burt Bacharach and Hal David to a worldwide audience, also issued a statement regarding his passing.
“Another heartache has come my way. Chuck Jackson has made his transition,” her statement read. “I’ll truly miss his daily calls checking on me and his wonderful voice. Rest in heavenly peace, my dear friend.”
Born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in 1937, Jackson grew up in Latta, South Carolina where he sang in a gospel group before relocating to Pittsburgh when he was 13.
In the late ’50s, he became a member of the Del-Vikings, a rare, interracial doo-wop group where he sang lead on their song "Willette" in 1957. After leaving the group, he was discovered by Luther Dixon as an opener for R&B icon Jackie Wilson at the Apollo Theater. Eventually, he signed a deal with Scepter Records.
Along with Dixon, he co-wrote his debut single in January 1961, "I Don't Want to Cry," which was his first hit charting on both the R&B and pop charts. The following year, he recorded his smash hit "Any Day Now,” a composition by Burt Bacharach and Bob Hilliard, which would become his signature song.
After garnering acclaim with “I Don’t Want to Cry,” Jackson brought out his contract with Scepter and moved to Motown Records. Following his tenure with Motown, he signed with All Platinum and recorded for a few smaller labels.
Throughout the years, he remained a popular performer touring all over the world.
In 1998, Jackson teamed up with Warwick and recorded "If I Let Myself Go,” arranged by Charles Wallert.
Many of his compositions were covered by other artists including Michael McDonald’s version of "I Keep Forgettin,” which went to number 4 on the Billboards 100 in 1982.
In his remarkable career that spanned over 60 years, Jackson charted over 20 songs on the R&B and Billboard charts. He was inducted into the R&B Hall of Fame and the North Carolina Music Hall Of Fame in 2015.
We at EBONY extend our prayers and deepest condolences to the family and friends of Chuck Jackson.