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RIP Bobby Womack; The Rolling Stones Pay Homage to Fallen Mentor [Audio]

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Bobby Womack, the soul and R&B great and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer, died over the weekend at the age of 70.

He was a huge influence on early ’60s bands like The Rolling Stones.

A rep for Womack’s record label tells Rolling Stone magazine that Womack died Friday.

While no cause of death was given, the fact the legendary singer suffered from a variety of health problems, including colon cancer and early signs of Alzheimer’s disease in recent years, is well known.

Womack’s decades-long career began in the early 1960s as part of The Valentinos, a group he formed with his brothers.  They recorded the hit “It’s All Over Now,” which also became a hit for the Rolling Stones – their first, in fact.  Later, Womack found success as a solo artist in the 1970s with albums such as “Across 110th Street,” “Facts Of Life” and “Lookin’ For a Love Again.”

His last album, “The Bravest Man in the Universe,” was released to critical acclaim in 2012.  And more tragically, he was in the midst of recording a new album before his death Friday.  Reportedly, the set, dubbed “The Best Is Yet To Come,” was set to feature contributions from Stevie Wonder, Rod Stewart, Snoop Dogg and others.  Womack was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009. Plans for services have not been announced as yet.

The Rolling Stones took time out of their show this weekend in Belgium to honor Bobby. For those who aren’t aware, it was Womack who gave the Stones their first number one hit with “It’s All Over Now” in 1964.  And it was that song they performed in his honor in Belgium on Saturday night.

Here’s the Stones version:

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And the original by Womack, circa 1963:

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Of his passing, the Rolling Stones issued the following statement:

“Bobby Womack was a huge influence on us.  He was a true pioneer of soul and R&B, whose voice and songwriting touched millions. On stage, his presence was formidable. His talents put him up there with the greats. We will remember him, first and foremost, as a friend.”

Separately, Ronnie Wood added:

“I’m so sad to hear about my friend Bobby Womack ~ the man who could make you cry when he sang has brought tears to my eyes with his passing. My heart goes out to his family & friends and everyone who loved his music. Bobby you will be greatly missed xx”

The next Rolling Stones show is tomorrow night in Stockholm, Sweden.

Damon Albarn is also mourning the loss of Womack.

Over the weekend, Albarn tweeted that he “will see [his] brother in church.”  Albarn and Womack have worked together a lot in recent years, starting with their collaboration on the Gorillaz single “Stylo” from 2010′s “Plastic Beach.”  Albarn also co-produced Womack’s acclaimed comeback album, “The Bravest Man in the Universe,” and worked on the upcoming follow-up, “The Best Is Yet to Come,” which was reportedly on track to be released this year.

R&B Legend Bobby Womack, Writer of ‘It’s All Over Now,’ Dies at 70

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