Bobby Womack

Bobby Womack

Soul legend Bobby Womack has died at the age of 70.

The singer passed away on Friday (27Jun14).

I wanted to get the true feeling back

A former member of family gospel groups the Womack Brothers and the Valentinos, he went solo in 1965 and released his debut album, Fly Me to the Moon, in 1968.

His hits included Across 110th Street, That's The Way I Feel About 'Cha, Woman's Gotta Have It and If You Think You're Lonely Now.

Womack's successes were tinged with personal tragedy and controversy - he struggled with the deaths of his brother Harry and sons Vincent and Truth.

Vincent committed suicide and four-month-old Truth died in 1978 after falling into a coma at the Womack family home in Woodland Hills, California.

In one of his final interviews, the soul star told WENN he never truly got over the tragedy and still blamed himself for leaving the baby unattended on a bed.

He said, "The baby had fallen down between the bed and the wall and he suffocated and that was the biggest hurt ever in my life".

The tragedy turned Womack onto hard drugs, which eventually robbed him of his creative edge, and he spent decades trying to get his passion for songwriting back.

He explained, "That death led to 'There's gotta be a better way... and from there, away I went. Every time I heard somebody had died - instead of going to the funeral, I'd go and get high. "Eventually I reached out to God and said, 'Look, I'm in trouble.

I don't even know who I am'.

I wanted to get the true feeling back...

My passion for music never died; I was just trying to figure out how you get it back". He spent much of the 1980s battling his drug demons, eventually checking into rehab. Womack also split fans of his music when he married late mentor Sam Cooke's wife Barbara three months after his death in 1964. He suffered a series of health setbacks, including diabetes, pneumonia and colon cancer, and last year (13) he revealed he had been diagnosed with memory-robbing Alzheimer's disease. The music veteran enjoyed a career revival thanks to British rocker Damon Albarn, who invited the soul man to join the Gorillaz on 2010 track Stylo. Womack also toured extensively with the group. Albarn then produced his acclaimed 2012 comeback album, The Bravest Man in the Universe, Womack's first release in more than a decade. The star was in the process of recording the follow-up, tentatively titled The Best Is Yet to Come, at the time of his death. He recently told WENN that his new music included collaborations with Snoop Dogg and duets with Stevie Wonder and Rod Stewart. He had also reworked a cover of Billy Preston's With You I'm Born Again. Bobby Womack was inducted in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009.