Grammy award-winning and R&B legend Joe Simon who sang hit song ‘Power of Love’ has died in his hometown
According to music magazine Billboard, Simon passed away on Monday, Dec. 13, in his hometown near Chicago, US. His cause of death is currently unknown.
The 85-year-old was born in Simmesport, Louisiana and hated picking cotton so packed up and moved to Los Angeles to make it as a singer.
The R&B star was homeless for his earlier years and wrote between 20 to 30 songs a night developing his voice until a record label owner paid him just over a thousand dollars to record four songs written by others.
He gained three No.1s and 14 top 10s.
Over his career, Simon charted 51 pop and R&B chart hits between 1964 and 1981, including eight times in the US top 40, 38 times in the top 40 of the US R&B charts, and 13 chart hits in Canada.
In 1970, Simon was awarded a Grammy award for best male R&B vocal performance. That same year, he was nominated as an inductee in the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame.
For all his success, Simon turned away from R&B.
He revealed in his 2016 documentary, Looking Back with Joe Simon: “To sing rhythm and blues, you had to act like a fool. Everybody out there was doped up.”
In 1983, Simon became an ordained minister, according to his grandson.
He made the change after completely forgetting the words to his hit songs he’d been singing for 25 years while on stage in front of 10,000 people.
He told his audience after forgetting his lyrics: “Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like for everyone to sit down. I want you to know that I’m not able to sing these songs tonight…. I want everyone to go to the front door to the office and get your money back. Because I’m going to church.”