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Solomon Burke Dies At Amsterdam Airport


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Never let go of that fiery sadness called desire.

- Patti Smith


AMSTERDAM — Soul singer Solomon Burke, who wrote "Everybody Needs Somebody To Love" and recorded the hit "Cry To Me" used in the movie "Dirty Dancing," has died at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport. He was 70.


Airport police spokesman Robert van Kapel confirmed the death of the singer Sunday and referred further questions to the performer's management.


Dutch national broadcaster NOS said he died on a plane early Sunday after arriving on a flight from Los Angles. The cause of death was not immediately clear.


Burke, who was both a Grammy winner and a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, had been due to perform at a well-known club in Amsterdam on Tuesday.


He was said to have been named the "king of rock and soul" by a Baltimore disc jockey in 1964 and he adopted the title as his own, even sitting in a large throne.


A Philadelphia native highly acclaimed by music critics, fellow musicians and many loyal fans, Burke never reached the same level of fame as soul performers like James Brown or Marvin Gaye.


However Legendary Atlantic Records producer Jerry Wexler once called Burke "the best soul singer of all time."


He wrote "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love" in 1964 and it was quickly recorded by the Rolling Stones and Wilson Pickett, and later and perhaps most famously by the Blues Brothers.


According to a 2002 interview with Philadelphia Weekly, Burke fathered 21 children and has scores of grandchildren. He lived in Los Angeles.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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