According to a statement from his wife, Mary Caldwell, Bobby Caldwell, the soulful singer and songwriter behind R&B hits like “What You Won’t Do For Love” and “Open Your Eyes,” has passed away. He was 71.
“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,” Mary Caldwell’s statement, shared on his verified Twitter account, read in part.
She claimed that Caldwell had experienced health problems for some time.
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The hit song “What You Won’t Do For Love” by Caldwell reached the Billboard 100 charts after its 1978 release. His music has been sampled by a number of artists, including Tupac Shakur, Common, and John Legend.
Questlove shared a tribute to Caldwell on Instagram, describing how he tried to collaborate with him over the years. Caldwell’s “Open Your Eyes” was sampled on “The Light,” a song that Questlove and Common worked on together.
“Man such a missed opportunity to meet a legend,” Questlove wrote. “Thank you for your voice and gift.
Caldwell, who was raised in Miami after moving from New York as a child, had his big break playing guitar for Little Richard.
He attributed his ability to perform music of several genres to the cultural richness of his city, which was influenced by Haitian, reggae, Latin, pop, and R&B music.
In addition to his solo success, he also wrote popular songs for other musicians, such as “The Next Time I Fall” for Amy Grant and Peter Cetera. “Cool Uncle,” his last record released in 2015.