Tuesday 12 December 2017

Grammy-winning jazz singer Al Jarreau dies in Los Angeles hospital aged 76

Al Jarreau performs on stage at the Vienna State Opera House as part of the annual Vienna Jazz FestivalIN Vienna, Austria on July 5, 2007. REUTERS/Herwig Prammer/File Photo
Al Jarreau performs on stage at the Vienna State Opera House as part of the annual Vienna Jazz FestivalIN Vienna, Austria on July 5, 2007. REUTERS/Herwig Prammer/File Photo
Al Jarreau performs at the Rock in Rio music festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)
Music composer Al Jarreau gestures at the Ebony magazine pre-Oscar party at Boulevard 3 in Hollywood, California, U.S. on February 21, 2008. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo
Al Jarreau poses with his awards for best pop instrumental performance for "Mornin'" and best traditional R&B vocal performance for "God Bless the Child" at the 49th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, File)

Lindsey Bahr

Grammy-winning jazz singer Al Jarreau has died in a Los Angeles hospital aged 76 just days after announcing his retirement from touring due to exhaustion.

Jarreau was taken to hospital earlier in the week and was said to have been improving slowly.

The Wisconsin-born musician won seven Grammys over a 50-year career. His biggest single was 1981's We're In This Love Together.

Jarreau was a vocalist on the all-star 1985 track, We Are the World, and sang the theme to TV's Moonlighting.

He is one of the few artists to have won Grammys in three separate categories - jazz, pop and R&B.

Jarreau is survived by his wife, Susan, and son Ryan.

Time Magazine once called Jarreau the "greatest jazz singer alive".

In a 2014 interview with The Arizona Republic, Jarreau relished in his crossover tendencies.

"I grew up in Milwaukee, and I took it all in. I want it all. Don't cut me off at the pass and say I can't listen to Muddy Waters because I'm a jazzer. Or I can't listen to Garth Brooks because I'm a jazzer. Get out of here," he said.

Music was not always Jarreau's focus. He was an athlete who earned a masters in vocal rehabilitation and started his career as a counsellor in San Francisco, playing jazz on the side.

Jarreau did not record his first album until he was 35.

"His second priority in life was music. There was no third," read a statement on Jarreau's website. "His first priority, far ahead of the other, was healing or comforting anyone in need."

Instead of flowers or gifts, a donation page has been set up for the Wisconsin Foundation for School Music

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