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Soul Singer Solomon Burke Dies at 70


US singer and songwriter Solomon Burke performs on the Stravinski Hall stage during the 43rd Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland, 14 Jul 2009

US singer and songwriter Solomon Burke performs on the Stravinski Hall stage during the 43rd Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland, 14 Jul 2009

American Soul singer Solomon Burke has died at the age of 70.

A spokesman for Amsterdam's Schipol Airport, where the singer's plane landed Sunday, announced his death. The cause of death was not immediately clear.

Burke, a Grammy winner and a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, was due to give a concert in Amsterdam Tuesday.

Legendary Atlantic Records producer Jerry Wexler dubbed Burke as "the best soul singer of all time."

Burke's best-known hit "Cry to Me," was used in the dance and seduction scene in the movie "Dirty Dancing."

Mick Jagger is said to have admitted to trying to imitate the phrasing of Burke's voice on the Rolling Stone's cover of "Cry to Me."

Burke's song "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love" was covered by Wilson Pickett, the Rolling Stones and the Blues Brothers.

However, he never reached the same level of fame as his some of his contemporaries, like James Brown and Marvin Gaye.

Solomon Burke's website says he was born on March 21, 1940 "in an upper room at the United Praying Band The House of God for All People" Church in West Philadelphia "to the sounds of horns and bass drums from the sanctuary."

He gave a performance for "one of his biggest fans" Pope John II at the Vatican in 2000.

Burke released a CD this year entitled "Nothing is Impossible."

Burke is survived by 21 children and almost 100 grandchildren.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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