Burt Bacharach, one of the most famous composers of 20th century pop music died at the age of 94.
The news of his passing had been shared by Bacharach’s publicist, who told Associated Press that the acclaimed composer died of natural causes due to old age.
Most of Bacharach’s songs marked entire eras, including the 50s’, 60s’, 70s’ and the 80s’. Not only he created some of the most iconic movie soundtrack songs, but he helped many music stars reach the top charts. Over the course of his career, he scored more than 50 chart hits in the US and UK, with artists such as Warwick, Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, Barbra Streisand, Tom Jones, Aretha Franklin and Elvis Costello, among the rest.
LOS ANGELES – 1987: Composer and producer Burt Bacharach poses for a portrait in 1987 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry Langdon/Getty Images)
Bacharach most often collaborated with lyricist Hal David and together they created enduring hits such as What The World Needs Now Is Love, I Say A Little Prayer, Walk on By, Alfie, What’s New Pussycat? and many more. The list is endless.In 2008, when Bacharach received the lifetime achievement Grammy, he was hailed music’s “greatest living composer.” In addition to this award, he won three Oscars, two Golden Globes, and five more Grammy awards.
Bacharach was both an innovator and throwback who triumphed in many art forms; Truly one of a kind.
He was married four times, but the strongest bond he had ever formed was that with creation of music, something he was entirely devoted to and loved doing.
Bacharach was born in Kansas City, Missouri but grew up in Kew Gardens, New York. Even when he was still just a child, he showed interest in music, most specifically, jazz.
Many found his music as “easy listening,” and old-fashioned style. His buoyant pop songs and smooth, jazzy instrumentals marked the 1960s. His songs can be heard in both Mad Men and Austin Powers. Bacharach made a memorable appearance in the second Austin Powers film, performing I’ll Never Fall in Love Again on an open top bus with Elvis Costello and was loved for his cameos in the Austin Powers film franchise.
What’s most, the song The Look of Love influenced the idea of Austin Powers in Mike Myers as he was driving home from hockey practice, according to Entertainment Weekly.
“Did I arrive at that intellectually? No,” he told Rolling Stone in 1999.
“I arrived at it by hearing the song ‘The Look of Love,’ the national anthem of libido, and thinking, ‘Where have all the swingers gone?’”
Speaking of Bacharach, Costello said in a 2018 interview with The Associated Press, “The shorthand version of [Bacharach] is that he’s something to do with easy listening.
“It may be agreeable to listen to these songs, but there’s nothing easy about them. Try playing them. Try singing them.”
While writing some of his most unforgettable songs, Bacharach was going through a period of grief. After four failed marriages, he lost his 40-year-old autistic daughter to suicide. She could feel something was wrong with her when he was still young, but it took doctors thirty years to diagnose her with Asperger’s syndrome. Six years later, she took her own life.
These hardships touched Bacharach’s soul and that pain affected his music in the most profound ways possible.
Rest in peace Burt Bacharach, your songs will live forever.