Sam Cooke Biography
Samuel Cooke, better known by his stage name Sam Cooke, was an American singer, songwriter, and businessman. Cooke is known as the “King of Soul” for his distinctive vocals, considerable contributions to the genre, and relevance in popular music. He is considered a pioneer and one of the most important soul performers of all time. He is well known for his song “What A Wonderful World”.
Cooke was born in Mississippi on January 22, 1931, and moved to Chicago with his family when he was a child. He began singing as a child and subsequently joined the Soul Stirrers as lead singer in the 1950s. Cooke’s solo career began in 1957, with hits such as “You Send Me,” “A Change Is Gonna Come,” “Cupid,” “Wonderful World,” “Chain Gang,” “Twistin’ the Night Away,” “Bring It On Home to Me,” and “Good Times.” Cooke had 29 tracks that scored in the Top 40 of the Billboard Pop Singles chart and 20 singles that charted in the Top Ten of Billboard’s Black Singles list throughout his eight-year career. Cooke was also one of the first modern Black musicians and songwriters to pay attention to the financial aspect of their craft. As an extension of his careers as a singer and composer, he formed a record label and a publishing company.
Cooke made an appearance on ABC’s The Guy Mitchell Show in 1957.He signed with Keen Records the same year. “You Send Me,” which was released as the B-side of “Summertime,” spent six weeks at the top of the Billboard R&B chart. The song was also a hit with the general public, spending three weeks at the top of the Billboard pop chart. He went from earning $200 per week to over $5,000 per week as a result of it.
Cooke was shot and killed by a motel manager in Los Angeles in 1964. Cooke’s death was judged a justified murder by the courts after an inquest and investigation; his family has subsequently questioned the circumstances of his death.
Cooke’s contributions to soul music paved the way for Aretha Franklin, Bobby Womack, Al Green, Curtis Mayfield, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and Billy Preston, as well as popularizing Otis Redding and James Brown’s work. Cooke was “the inventor of soul music,” according to AllMusic writer Bruce Eder, and possessed “an great natural singing voice and a smooth, effortless delivery that has never been excelled.”
Cooke was also a key figure in the civil rights movement, utilizing his clout and popularity among both white and black people to further the cause. He was acquainted with Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, and football player Jim Brown, all of whom pushed for racial equality.
Cooke had several Posthumous honors. He was admitted as a charter member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions to the music business after his death. Cooke got the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999, presented by Larry Blackmon of the funk supergroup Cameo, despite never having won a Grammy. Cooke was placed 16th on Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” list in 2004. In addition to other distinctions, Cooke was inducted into the National Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame at Cleveland State University in 2013.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Sam Cooke’S Most Famous Song?
“A Change is Gonna Come” is Sam Cooke’s most famous song. The song was released in 1964, just a year before Cooke’s untimely death.
How Many Hit Songs Did Sam Cooke Have?
According to the website AllMusic, Sam Cooke was credited as a co-writer on 32 songs that charted in the United States, including 12 that he wrote himself. He also had 29 top 40 hit singles, including 12 that reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In addition, Cooke was a successful gospel singer and recorded several gospel albums.
Where Did Sam Cooke Grow Up?
Sam Cooke was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi, and spent much of his childhood in the small town of McComb. He began singing in church at a young age, and by the time he was a teenager, he had already found success as a gospel singer. In the early 1950s, he moved to Chicago and began performing secular music, eventually becoming one of the most successful R&B singers of his generation. He died tragically in 1964 at the age of 33.
Sam Cooke Genre?