‘The Acrobat of Scat’, Al Jarreau’s death is being mourned for his fans. The jazz singer who, despite suffereing a few bouts of illnesses a few years ago, looked healthy till very recently. It is this reason that people were shocked and initially thought it was merely a rumor. The singer who died on Sunday is survived by his wife of 40 years Susan Player and their 33-year old son Rayan.
The singer’s death surprised his fans all the more as he looked very fit for his age merely a week or so ago, when he told the world that he was done with his constant touring and performances. He had performed almost everywhere in North America and Europe and had a dedicated fan following wherever he set his foot.
76-year old Al Jarreau, a seven-time Grammy-winning jazz singer, had achieved fame when it looked rather improbable for a person coming from his background. Though he was into jazz for a long time, but it was in his mid-thirties when he started tasting success. In late sixties, Al Jarreau started playing at Los Angeles hot spots like Dino’s, The Troubadour, and Bitter End West. While working at different pubs, the singer became involved with the United Church of Religious Science and the Church of Scientology. Nonetheless, the assosication didn’t travel long and he soon dissociated from Scientology.
Al Jarreau’s talent was recognized more widely and he became a star once he was spotted by Warner Brothers in 1975. Reports suggest that at that time the singer was working with pianist Tom Canning. It didn’t take long following his first appearance of NBC SNL to release his critically acclaimed debut album, We Got By.
Once he arrived on the international scene, he never looked back. Within two years’ time he had a Grammy in his kitty. Besides winning seven Grammys, mostly in the Best Jazz Vocal Performance category, the singer was nominated an additional 18 times, including a 1982 Album of the Year nomination for his platinum-selling 1981 LP Breakin’ Away.