Legendary Jazzman Al Jarreau Dies at 76

Al Jarreau, a legendary jazz singer died early Sunday morning at the age of 76, two weeks after being hospitalized due to exhaustion and cancelling his 2017 tour.

He was a seven-time Grammy winner best known for hits like "We're in This Love Together," "Breakin' Away," and the theme song to the TV show "Moonlighting."

Nicknamed the "Acrobat of Scat" for his innovative vocal stylings, Jarreau was one of the few performers of his day who successfully bridged pop, jazz, and R&B. He released more than 20 albums over his storied career, won seven Grammy Awards and remained a tireless performer right up until his death.

CNN reports that Jarreau died at about 9 a.m. ET in Los Angeles surrounded by his wife, son and a few friends, according to posts on his Facebook page and Twitter account. The cause of death is not known at this time. 

Alwyn Lopez Jarreau was born March 12, 1940 in Milwaukee. Growing up as the son of a minister, Jarreau became interested in singing after joining the church choir. He planned to pursue social work and received a degree in psychology, but later decided to move to Los Angeles and become a jazz singer.

Jarreau did not begin a full-time musical career until he was nearly 30, but within a few years he had begun attracting notice for a vocal style that was both instantly appealing and highly unusual. 

He won his first Grammy in 1978, for best jazz vocal performance, for his album “Look to the Rainbow.” He won his last in 2007, for best traditional R&B vocal performance; the award was shared by Mr. Jarreau, George Benson and Jill Scott for their collaborative performance “God Bless the Child.”

By Thea Morrison

13 February 2017 12:15