(January 22, 1931 – December 11, 1964)
Sam Cooke, was a gospel, R&B, soul, and pop singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur. He is considered to be one of the pioneers and founders of soul music. He is commonly known as The King of Soul for his unmatched vocal abilities and impact and influence on the modern world of music. His contribution in pioneering Soul music led to the rise of Aretha Franklin, Bobby Womack, Curtis Mayfield, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and popularizing the likes of Otis Redding and James Brown.
Cooke had 29 top-40 hits in the U.S. between 1957 and 1964. Major hits like "You Send Me", "A Change Is Gonna Come", "Chain Gang", "Wonderful World", and "Bring It on Home to Me" are some of his most popular songs. Cooke was also among the first modern black performers and composers to attend to the business side of his musical career. He founded both a record label, SAR Records and a publishing company as an extension of his careers as a singer and composer. He also took an active part in the American Civil Rights Movement.
Many of Cooke's tunes were featured in movies and covered by other artists. One of the most notable covers of a Cooke tune is by Luther Vandross on his Forever, For Always, For Love album released in 1982, for his version titled "Bad Boy/Having A Party", produced by Vandoss and Marcus Miller. Cooke's original version, "Having A Party" was recorded and released in 1962.