February 16, 2017
City News Service
Singer Al Jarreau died Sunday in Los Angeles, just days after retiring from touring, his manager told Ebony Magazine. He was 76.
The singer was surrounded by family and friends when he died at 5:30 a.m.
A small, private service is planned, said the manager, Joe Gordon.
Jarreau won seven Grammy Awards in his 50-year career, but cut off his touring schedule this month after falling ill with exhaustion. He had been scheduled to sing this month at venues in his native Wisconsin.
Singer Chaka Khan tweeted that Jarreau was “everything jazz and beyond, with an unrivaled improvisational genius.”
And Paula Abdul called him “legendary” and said she was “inspired by his music and his voice – so different and so unique.”
Born in Milwaukee, Jarreau arrived as a jazz singer on the Sunset Strip in the 1960s, and rose to national fame through guest shots on “The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson” and shows hosted by Merv Griffin, Dinah Shore, Mike Douglas and others.
He was the featured singer on one installment of the first season of “NBC’s Saturday Night Live,” and in 1976 issued an album that made him an international star, “We Got By.” Jarreau’s first crossover hit in the U.S. – “We’re In This Love Together” – made him a stalwart on soft jazz radio stations across the country.
But it was his theme song for the hit TV show “Moonlighting” that may have been his most famous work.
Several weeks ago, Jarreau abruptly cancelled his touring schedule, and was hospitalized for exhaustion.
He died at 5:30 a.m. Sunday with his wife Sandy and son Ryan at his side, said his manager, Gordon.
In lieu of flowers, Gordon suggested mourners contribute in Jarreau’s name to the Wisconsin Foundation For School Music.