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Joe Cocker
Joe cocker 1970.JPG
Cocker in 1969
Background information
Birth name John Robert Cocker
Also known as Vance Arnold
The Sheffield Soul Shouter
Born (1944-05-20)20 May 1944
Sheffield, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
Died 22 December 2014(2014-12-22) (aged 70)
Crawford, Colorado, United States
Genres Rock, blues, soul, pop
Occupation(s) Singer, musician
  • Vocals
  • harmonica
  • piano
Years active 1961–2013,
Labels Regal Zonophone, A&M, Capitol, EMI, Decca
Associated acts The Grease Band

John Robert "Joe" Cocker, OBE (20 May 1944 – 22 December 2014) was an English singer and musician. He was known for his gritty voice, spasmodic body movement in performance and definitive versions of popular songs of varying genre.

Cocker's cover of the Beatles' "With a Little Help from My Friends" reached number one in the UK in 1968. He performed the song live at Woodstock in 1969 and performed the same year at the Isle of Wight Festival, and at the Party at the Palace concert in 2002 for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.

His version also became the theme song for the TV series The Wonder Years. His 1974 cover of "You Are So Beautiful" reached number five in the US. Cocker was the recipient of several awards, including a 1983 Grammy Award for his US number one "Up Where We Belong", a duet with Jennifer Warnes.

In 1993, Cocker was nominated for the Brit Award for Best British Male, in 2007 was awarded a bronze Sheffield Legends plaque in his hometown and in 2008 he received an OBE at Buckingham Palace for services to music. Cocker was ranked number 97 on Rolling Stone's 100 greatest singers list.

Personal life

Joe Cocker - Festival du Bout du Monde 2013 - 010
Joe Cocker 2013

In 1963, Cocker began dating Eileen Webster, also a resident of Sheffield. The couple dated intermittently for the next 13 years, and separated permanently in 1976.

In 1978, Cocker moved onto a ranch owned by Jane Fonda in Santa Barbara, California. Pam Baker, a local summer camp director and fan of Cocker's music, persuaded the actress to lend the house to Cocker. Baker began dating Cocker, and they married on 11 October 1987. The couple resided on the Mad Dog Ranch in Crawford, Colorado.


Cocker died from lung cancer on 22 December 2014 in Crawford, Colorado, at the age of 70. He had smoked 40 cigarettes a day until 1991. The two remaining living ex-Beatles, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, were among those who paid tribute to the singer, while Cocker's agent, Barrie Marshall, said that Cocker was "without doubt the greatest rock/soul singer ever to come out of Britain."


Joe Cocker - Festival du Bout du Monde 2013 - 068
Joe Cocker - Festival du Bout du Monde 2013
Joe Cocker (2010)
Joe Cocker 2010

Studio albums

  • With a Little Help from My Friends (1969)
  • Joe Cocker! (1969)
  • Joe Cocker (1972)
  • I Can Stand a Little Rain (1974)
  • Jamaica Say You Will (1975)
  • Stingray (1976)
  • Luxury You Can Afford (1978)
  • Sheffield Steel (1982)
  • Civilized Man (1984)
  • Cocker (1986)
  • Unchain My Heart (1987)
  • One Night of Sin (1989)
  • Night Calls (1991/US: 1992)
  • Have a Little Faith (1994)
  • Organic (1996)
  • Across from Midnight (1997)
  • No Ordinary World (1999/US: 2000)
  • Respect Yourself (2002)
  • Heart & Soul (2004/US: 2005)
  • Hymn for My Soul (2007/US: 2008)
  • Hard Knocks (2010/US: 2012)
  • Fire It Up (2012)


Sheffield Legends Joe Cocker
Commemorative star in the pavement outside Sheffield Town Hall: a "walk of fame"
  • 1983: 25th Annual Grammy Award, Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, with Jennifer Warnes for "Up Where We Belong"
  • 2007: Order of the British Empire (OBE)
  • 1996, 2013: Goldene Kamera
  • 1988 Nominee: Grammy Award for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance
  • 1989, 1990, 1991 Nominees: Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance
  • 1993 Nominee: Brit Award for Best British Male
  • 1998, 1999, 2013, 2014 Nominees: Echo
Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Mojo United Kingdom "Top 100 Singers Of All Time" 1999 58
Rolling Stone United States "100 Greatest Singers of All Time" 2008 97
Billboard United States Artist 100 2015 84
Billboard United States Social 50 2015 14

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