LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — Seven-time Grammy Award winner Al Jarreau died Sunday morning at the age of 76 at a hospital in Los Angeles.
His wife and their son were by his side according to his manager. Jarreau was a big part of our soundtrack in the 1980s recording the smash hit:
“We’re in this love together.”
As accomplished a jazz artist as he was, Jarreau might’ve been best known for singing the theme song to “Moonlighting” the hit show featuring Cybil Shepherd and Bruce Willis as private detectives in the late 80s.
Angela Hill brought two friends from Washington, DC to enjoy the Sunday jazz brunch at Pips on La Brea. She and her friends were saddened by the news that Jarreau passed away this morning.
“I introduced my daughter to Al Jarreau years ago so when we were getting dressed in the morning we just played Al Jarreau, and I’m sorry to hear that,” Hill said.
Jarreau was born and raised in Milwaukee and burst on the scene here in Los Angeles in the 1960s. He sang at the Troubadour on Santa Monica Boulevard and Dino’s on Sunset Boulevard. He even sang at the Improv on Melrose between comedy sets from the big names back then.
“I saw him two years ago at the Long Beach Jazz Festival. He was older but he still sounded good and crisp,” Jarreau fan Kathy Folwer said.
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Jarreau was scheduled for a homecoming tour in Wisconsin but had some health issues early this month that put him in the hospital here in L.A. Those Wisconsin dates were abruptly cancelled five days ago with an announcement on his website.
In a 2014 interview with The Arizona Republic, Jarreau relished in his crossover tendencies.
“I grew up in Milwaukee, and I took it all in. I want it all. Don’t cut me off at the pass and say I can’t listen to Muddy Waters because I’m a jazzer. Or I can’t listen to Garth Brooks because I’m a jazzer. Get out of here,” he said.
Music wasn’t always Jarreau’s focus, however — he didn’t even record his first album until he was 35. Born to a minister father and a mother who played the piano in church, Jarreau sang from an early age, but he was also an athlete who earned a master’s in vocal rehabilitation and started his career as a counselor in San Francisco, playing jazz on the side.
But he couldn’t ignore his passion for performance and eventually gave up his first career to do music full time.
“His second priority in life was music. There was no third,” read the statement on Jarreau’s website. “His first priority, far ahead of the other, was healing or comforting anyone in need.”
His final album, “My Old Friend: Celebrating George Duke,” was released in 2014.
Jarreau is survived by his wife, Susan, and a son, Ryan. In lieu of flowers or gifts, a donation page has been set up for the Wisconsin Foundation for School Music.
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