Solomon Burke has died at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport at the age of 70.
The soul singer died of natural causes, his family said in a statement on the singer's website.
"This is a time of great sorrow for our entire family. We truly appreciate all of the support and well wishes from his friends and fans," the statement said.
"Although our hearts and lives will never be the same, his love, life and music will continue to live within us forever," it added. The family did not elaborate on the cause of death.
Schiphol Airport police spokesman Robert van Kapel confirmed that Burke died on a plane at Schiphol.
He arrived early on Sunday on a flight from Los Angeles and had been scheduled to perform a sellout show on Tuesday in a church converted into a concert hall in Amsterdam with local band De Dijk.
Burke, who wrote the hit Everybody Needs Somebody to Love among many others, was both a Grammy winner and a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.