Bobby Womack: A Passionate, Reckless Soul Man to the End

TIME

Its called soul music for the intensity with which its singers deliver a lyric: hearts on fire, the best seem to testify as they sing, wrenching their body when they perform, bellowing a message, funky and free. Bobby Womack was the quintessential soul man. The superb singer and songwriter, who wrote hit songs later put onto wax by the Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin and Wilson Pickett, and made a string of iconic R&B albums in the Seventies before having a career resurgence in recent years, lived his life with the same passion and, at times, reckless abandon that made him a dynamic musical force. He died last week at age 70.

“The only way you can create is you gotta be free” Womack told TIME a few months before his passing. “That’s what you’ve gotta do to be in this business. You’ve got to be on fire.” His talent was…

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