Following a battle with lung cancer, Joe Cocker has died today—his agent Barrie Marshall confirmed the sad news, though would not specify that was the cause of death. Marshall added that Cocker, who turned 70 earlier this year, was "simply unique... it will be impossible to fill the space he leaves in our hearts." The Sheffield-born musician was at home in Colorado at the time of his death.
We'll update here if any more information becomes available, but below you'll find some videos featuring Cocker, or tributes to the man, who released over 20 studio albums during his long career.
Cocker wasn't a star until he performed at Woodstock (his set occurred just before the storm rolled in); following the festival he released his second album, and was in high demand.
He returned for the Woodstock anniversary in 1994:
Here he is with Eric Clapton at MSG in 1983 (a few years earlier, in 1980, he performed in Central Park to 20,000 people, but for some reason that was only ever released in Australia):
During a September concert at Madison Square Garden, Billy Joel announced that Joe Cocker "is not very well right now," adding, "I think he should be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, I'm amazed that he's not yet, but I'm throwing in my vote for [him]." He then performed "With A Little Help From My Friends," a Beatles cover that Cocker pretty much owned:
Here's Cocker performing at the Fillmore East in 1970 (one of the rare performances caught on video at the venue... which is now a bank). Fact: They were so impressed with Cocker's cover of "With a Little Help from My Friends," Paul McCartney and George Harrison allowed him to use their songs "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window" and "Something" for his second album.
And finally, here's John Belushi performing "With A Little Help From Friends" on SNL, nailing Cocker's stage style...
... and it seems like he was pretty cool with that: