Bobby Caldwell was an American singer, songwriter, and musician. He was very popular for his soulful and versatile vocals. Bobby has released several albums in various genres like R&B, soul, jazz, and adult contemporary.
Bobby released the hit single and his signature song “What You Won’t Do for Love” from his double platinum debut album Bobby Caldwell in 1978. Along with that, he has also written various superhit songs for big artists.
His music remains to be an inspiration for many and is sampled by various R&B and hip-hop artists.
The Rise of Bobby Caldwell
Bobby was born on August 15, 1951, in Manhattan, New York. He grew up in Miami, Florida. His mother used to sell real estate and one of her clients was Bob Marley. Soon, Caldwell and Marley became friends.
Growing up in Miami, Bobby was introduced to several music varieties like Haitian, Latin, reggae, and R&B. His parents used to host a local variety television show called Suppertime.
He grew up listening to the music of Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. When he was 12, Caldwell started playing piano and guitar. He was drawn to rock and roll, jazz, and rhythm and blues.
In his early years, he played with a band called Katmandu in Miami. They wrote much of their material while also performing traditional standards. He used to play instruments and sing.
He worked with the band in Las Vegas at the age of 17, then moved to Los Angeles.
His first career break came as a rhythm guitarist for Little Richard in the early 1970s. Eventually, Bobby and his band left Little Richard, and Bobby chose to go solo.
After spending six years in LA playing for different bar bands and trying to look for record deals, Caldwell finally landed one in 1978. He signed with TK Records in Miami.
Post the recording of his songs, the executive told Bobby that they enjoyed the album, however, they thought it was lacking a hit. Two days later, Bobby came up with his newly written song, “What You Won’t Do For Love.”
TK was mainly an R&B label popular among African American listeners. Executives at the label wanted to conceal the fact that Caldwell was white, so they kept his face off the album cover. So when he toured to support the album, along with Natalie Cole, most of the audience was black and many were surprised to see that Caldwell was white.
“What You Won’t Do for Love” on Bobby Caldwell reached the top ten on the Billboard magazine Hot 100 (No. 9), R&B (No. 6), and Adult Contemporary (No. 10) charts. The song has been covered, remade, and sampled many times. Caldwell remade it in 1998.
His debut album was succeeded by Cat in the Hat (1980) and Carry On (1982). In 1983, Caldwell released August Moon only in Japan. It was released in the United States in the 1990s.
He went on to release 17 albums throughout his life, his last being Cool Uncle in 2015.
Much to every fan’s dismay, Bobby passed away on March 14th, 2023. It was confirmed by his wife a day later on his Twitter profile.
The Cause of Bobby’s Death
Bobby died aged 71, on March 14th. He was at his home in the Great Meadows section of Independence Township, New Jersey, on March 14, 2023.
His wife tweeted: “Bobby passed away here at home. I held him tight in my arms as he left us. I am forever heartbroken. Thanks to all of you for your many prayers over the years.”
According to Regenerative Medicine LA, Bobby’s health declined due to suffering severe side effects from fluoroquinolone.
Bobby Caldwell was a great singer and musician. He was an amazing artist; his contribution to the music industry will forever be revered. His death was announced by his wife the following day.
He passed away on March 14th due to suffering from the side effects of fluoroquinolone.
May his soul rest in peace.
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