Biography

Solomon Burke (March 21, 1940 – October 10, 2010) was an American recording artist and vocalist, who shaped the sound of rhythm and blues as one of the founding fathers of soul music in the 1960s and a "key transitional figure in the development of soul music from rhythm and blues" (Irwin Stambler 1974). He had a string of hits including "Cry to Me", "If You Need Me", "Got to Get You Off My Mind", "Down in the Valley" and "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love". Burke was referred to as "King Solomon", the "King of Rock 'n' Soul", "Bishop of Soul" and the "Muhammad Ali of soul". Due to Burke's minimal chart success in comparison to other soul music greats such as James Brown, Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding, Burke is often described as the genre's "most unfairly overlooked singer" of its golden age. Atlantic Records executive Jerry Wexler once referred to Burke as "the greatest male soul singer of all time".

Burke's most famous recordings, which spanned five years in the early 1960s, bridged the gap between mainstream R&B and grittier R&B. Burke was "a singer whose smooth, powerful articulation and mingling of sacred and profane themes helped define soul music in the early 1960s." He drew from his roots - gospel, jazz, country and blues - as well as developing his own style at a time when R&B, and rock were both still in their infancy. Described as both "Rabelaisian" and also as a "spiritual enigma," "perhaps more than any other artist, the ample figure of Solomon Burke symbolized the ways that spirituality and commerce, ecstasy and entertainment, sex and salvation, individualism and brotherhood, could blend in the world of 1960s soul music."

During the 55 years that he performed professionally, Burke released 38 studio albums on at least 17 record labels and had 35 singles that charted in the US, including 26 singles that made the Billboard R&B charts. In 2001, Burke was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a performer. His album Don't Give Up on Me won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album at the 45th Grammy Awards in 2003. By 2005 Burke was credited with selling 17 million albums. Rolling Stone ranked Burke as #89 on its 2008 list of "100 Greatest Singers of All Time."

Solomon Burke (March 21, 1940 – October 10, 2010) was an American recording artist and vocalist, who shaped the sound of rhythm and blues as one of the founding fathers of soul music in the 1960s and a "key transitional figure in the development of soul music from rhythm and blues" (Irwin Stambler 1974). He had a string of hits including "Cry to Me", "If You Need Me", "Got to Get You Off My Mind", "Down in the Valley" and "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love". Burke was referred to as "King Solomon", the "King of Rock 'n' Soul", "Bishop of Soul" and the "Muhammad Ali of soul". Due to Burke's minimal chart success in comparison to other soul music greats such as James Brown, Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding, Burke is often described as the genre's "most unfairly overlooked singer" of its golden age. Atlantic Records executive Jerry Wexler once referred to Burke as "the greatest male soul singer of all time".

Burke's most famous recordings, which spanned five years in the early 1960s, bridged the gap between mainstream R&B and grittier R&B. Burke was "a singer whose smooth, powerful articulation and mingling of sacred and profane themes helped define soul music in the early 1960s." He drew from his roots - gospel, jazz, country and blues - as well as developing his own style at a time when R&B, and rock were both still in their infancy. Described as both "Rabelaisian" and also as a "spiritual enigma," "perhaps more than any other artist, the ample figure of Solomon Burke symbolized the ways that spirituality and commerce, ecstasy and entertainment, sex and salvation, individualism and brotherhood, could blend in the world of 1960s soul music."

During the 55 years that he performed professionally, Burke released 38 studio albums on at least 17 record labels and had 35 singles that charted in the US, including 26 singles that made the Billboard R&B charts. In 2001, Burke was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a performer. His album Don't Give Up on Me won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album at the 45th Grammy Awards in 2003. By 2005 Burke was credited with selling 17 million albums. Rolling Stone ranked Burke as #89 on its 2008 list of "100 Greatest Singers of All Time."

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Male

Known Credits 13

Birthday 1940-03-21

Day of Death 2010-10-10

Place of Birth Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • Dr. Solomon Burke

Acting TV ShowsMovies

2016 BANG! The Bert Berns Story as Himself
2013 Hou me Vast - De Dijk as himself
2011 Passion Play as Himself
2007 Solomon Burke & Friends: Live in Nashville as Himself
2007 Jerry Lee Lewis: Last Man Standing, Live as Lui même
2004 Lightning in a Bottle
2003 Solomon Burke - Live At North Sea Jazz as Vocals
2002 Time of Fear as Bishop Bonds
1996 The Little Death as Bandleader
1993 Late Night with Conan O'Brien (3 episodes) as Himself
1992 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (2 episodes) (2 episodes) as Himself
1986 The Big Easy as Daddy Mention

Sound

1972 Cool Breeze Original Music Composer

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