Irish singer Sinead O'Connor has been tapped to replace late soul legend Bobby Womack as the headliner of Britain's Womad musical festival. The If You Think You're Lonely Now hitmaker passed away last month (Jun14) at the age of 70, and on Thursday (10Jul14), festival organisers announced O'Connor would step in for him at the festival in Charlton Park, Wiltshire later this month (Jul14).
A spokesperson says, "Just when you thought that no more remarkable names could be squeezed on to this year's cracking line-up, another one comes along... the compulsive and uncompromising performer Sinead O'Connor."
O'Connor joins the likes of Youssou N'Dour, Richard Thompson and Manu Dibango on the Womad bill.
Damon Albarn will always be grateful to soul star Bobby Womack for sharing his musical knowledge with him in the years before his death. The pair became close friends after the British rocker helped Womack achieve a career comeback by involving him in his band Gorillaz, and Albarn insists he will never forget the veteran musician's lessons.
He tells BBC Radio 4's The Last Word show, "In a strange way, I find it very hard to sort of accept that he's not there anymore... For me, he feels very present and I don't quite understand why... He taught me things that will never leave me, and he will never leave me."
The Blur star also recalls working with Womack for the first time, revealing there was a scare in the studio when the star suffered a bout of hypoglycaemia due to his diabetes,
Albarn explains, "He literally just stood there for 45 minutes just singing. Finally at the end there was a silence. I put my arm around him and he was quite cold. I thought maybe he was going to collapse. Some sort of inner voice said to me, 'Go and get him a banana'. And I came back and gave him the banana and he was absolutely fine, but I had no idea he had diabetes."
Womack passed away last month (Jun14), aged 70.
Soul singer/producer Raphael Saadiq has honoured the memory of late music legend Bobby Womack with a special tribute song featuring rapper Snoop Dogg. The That's The Way I Feel About 'Cha icon passed away last Friday (27Jun14) at the age of 70 and now Saadiq has unveiled the track Gonna Miss U R.I.P. Bobby Womack 1944-2014 on his Soundcloud.com page.
Snoop Dogg introduces the tune, saying, "Brand new music coming up from my nephew Raphael Saadiq... If you're missing somebody like we missing somebody, like really missing somebody, I know you're gonna dig this... (sic)".
In the online description for the song, the former Tony! Toni! Tone! star writes, "Bobby Womack is one of my musical soul International (sic) known Heroes, Never had the chance to work with him, or even talk to him, but I did get a chance to shake his hand and say hello...
"My parents would always play Bobby Womack Records in the house, Here's (a) Toast to Bobby, a song I finish (sic) last night after I heard the news, Gonna Miss You...Have (a) Beautiful Transition, RS".
Saadiq isn't the only star to remember Womack with a musical tribute - Stevie Wonder performed a cover of the soul veteran's If You Think You're Lonely Now at the London Calling festival last weekend (28-29Jun14).
Soul legend Bobby Womack refused to retire last year (14) when his closest friends begged him to stop touring and enjoy life. The singer/songwriter passed away on Friday (27Jun14), aged 70, a year after revealing he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, and pals like Candi Staton now reveal the Across 110th Street hitmaker had been ill for years.
A life of drug issues, personal dramas and a cancer battle had taken its toll on Womack, and Staton recalls her last meeting with her old friend in January, 2013.
She tells the Los Angeles Times, "He was in a coma for a while, and when he came out of his coma, I think I was one of the first people he called, and he told me what was going on in his life. I said, 'Oh Bobby, I'm praying for you. Are you OK?' He said, 'They thought I wasn't going to make it through, Candi'."
"I saw him for the last time last year. I think it was in January when I went to his show. He and Millie Jackson and I were in the dressing room together. He was sick then, just so sick. I said, 'Bobby, how long are you going to be out on this road sick like this?'
"He said, 'I'm going to be out here until I can't go no more'. I said, 'OK, Bobby, but you know you've written enough songs and made enough money that if you wanted to, you could go home and lay down and retire'. He said, 'Yeah, go home, lay down, retire and die!'"
In fact, Womack was planning a headlining slot at the WOMAD festival in England at the time of his death. A tribute is being planned for the event at the end of July (14).
Rocker Peter Gabriel has paid tribute to Bobby Womack following the soul legend's death on Friday (27Jun14). The Across 110th Street singer was billed to headline Gabriel's WOMAD festival in England at the end of the month (Jul14).
The former Genesis star, who co-founded the world music event, says, "I'm very sad to learn of Bobby Womack's death. We were very proud to be having him closing this year's WOMAD Charlton Park. His songs and his voice have been so much a part of the fabric of so many musical lives.
"He was a soul legend and will leave a big hole."
Other celebrity tributes to Womack have been posted by Ronnie Wood, Stevie Wonder, Justin Timberlake and Damon Albarn, who helped to revive the soul veteran's career by inviting him to join the Gorillaz in 2010.
Music legend Stevie Wonder paid tribute to fellow soul star Bobby Womack as he closed the London Calling Festival on Sunday night (30Jun14). The Superstition hitmaker headlined the final day of the event in the British capital, following on from Saturday night's (29Jun14) bill-toppers Aerosmith.
Wonder thrilled fans with a hit-packed set, performing classics including Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours and Higher Ground
He also used his time on the stage to honour music veteran Womack following his death on Friday (27Jun14).
The star told the crowd the moment was extra poignant for him as he last saw Womack on a previous trip to the U.K., saying, "It's always a painful thing when we lose someone in this industry, but each time we lose someone, we can say we are left with their musical history. I saw him last right here in England.
"I want to give my condolences to his family and hope that he is in the best place spiritually. Please give a hand to Bobby Womack!"
Wonder and his band then burst into a cover of Womack's track If You Think You're Lonely Now, adding, "We picked out a song we thought was appropriate."
Other performers at the festival, partnered by Britain's Absolute Radio station, included Paloma Faith and Jack Johnson. (LR/WN)
"Bobby Womack was a huge influence on us. He was a true pioneer of soul and R&B, whose voice and songwriting touched millions. On stage, his presence was formidable. His talents put him up there with the greats. We will remember him, first and foremost, as a friend." The Rolling Stones, who recorded Womack's song It's All Over Now, share a group tribute to the late soul man following his death on Friday (27Jun14).
Bobby Womack's friend and collaborator Damon Albarn has joined stars including Ronnie Wood, Justin Timberlake and Ronald Isley to pay tribute to the soul legend following his death on Friday (27Jun14). The music veteran, who had suffered from Alzheimer's disease and prostate cancer, passed away at the age of 70, but no further details were available as WENN went to press.
Womack's death sent the music world into mourning, prompting tributes from his famous friends and fans, including Blur star Albarn, who helped the music veteran achieve a career revival in recent years by collaborating with him on a Gorillaz track and inviting him on tour.
Albarn mourned his friend's loss in a post on Twitter.com, writing, "I will see my brother in church @RealBobbyWomack."
Rolling Stones star Ronnie Wood was among the first to pay tribute to Womack, tweeting, "I'm so sad to hear about my friend Bobby Womack - the man who could make you cry when he sang has brought tears to my eyes with his passing.
"My heart goes out to his family & friends and everyone who loved his music. Bobby you will be greatly missed."
The Rolling Stones recorded Womack's song It's All Over Now.
Pop star Justin Timberlake also marked the sad news by taking to Twitter to write, "One of THE BEST to ever do it. You've inspired so much out of me and will continue to do so... #RIPBobbyWomack," while CeeLo Green added, "RIP Bobby Womack... Heroes get remembered, but legends never die #RIPBobbyWomack."
Funk legend George Clinton offered up an online message to remember Womack, along with Anita Baker and Angie Stone and fellow soul icon Ronald Isley, of the Isley Brothers, who wrote, "I am sad to hear of the passing of my long time friend Bobby Womack. He was a special person with a special talent. I will truly miss him."
Rockers including Red Hot Chili Peppers star Flea, Matt Sorum and Gerard Way also joined the flood of tributes, along with stars from the hip-hop world, led by Wyclef Jean, OutKast's Big Boi, 50 Cent, Q-Tip and Public Enemy.
Womack was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2009, and his passing prompted a statement from organisation officials. The message reads, "Sad to learn that soul legend and 2009 Rock and Roll HOF Inductee Bobby Womack has passed away."
Soul legend Bobby Womack has died at the age of 70. The singer passed away on Friday (27Jun14).
A former member of family gospel groups the Womack Brothers and the Valentinos, he went solo in 1965 and released his debut album, Fly Me to the Moon, in 1968.
His hits included Across 110th Street, That's The Way I Feel About 'Cha, Woman's Gotta Have It and If You Think You're Lonely Now.
Womack's successes were tinged with personal tragedy and controversy - he struggled with the deaths of his brother Harry and sons Vincent and Truth. Vincent committed suicide and four-month-old Truth died in 1978 after falling into a coma at the Womack family home in Woodland Hills, California.
In one of his final interviews, the soul star told WENN he never truly got over the tragedy and still blamed himself for leaving the baby unattended on a bed.
He said, "The baby had fallen down between the bed and the wall and he suffocated and that was the biggest hurt ever in my life."
The tragedy turned Womack onto hard drugs, which eventually robbed him of his creative edge, and he spent decades trying to get his passion for songwriting back.
He explained, "That death led to 'There's gotta be a better way... and from there, away I went. Every time I heard somebody had died - instead of going to the funeral, I'd go and get high.
"Eventually I reached out to God and said, 'Look, I'm in trouble. I don't even know who I am'. I wanted to get the true feeling back... My passion for music never died; I was just trying to figure out how you get it back."
He spent much of the 1980s battling his drug demons, eventually checking into rehab.
Womack also split fans of his music when he married late mentor Sam Cooke's wife Barbara three months after his death in 1964.
He suffered a series of health setbacks, including diabetes, pneumonia and colon cancer, and last year (13) he revealed he had been diagnosed with memory-robbing Alzheimer's disease.
The music veteran enjoyed a career revival thanks to British rocker Damon Albarn, who invited the soul man to join the Gorillaz on 2010 track Stylo. Womack also toured extensively with the group.
Albarn then produced his acclaimed 2012 comeback album, The Bravest Man in the Universe, Womack's first release in more than a decade.
The star was in the process of recording the follow-up, tentatively titled The Best Is Yet to Come, at the time of his death.
He recently told WENN that his new music included collaborations with Snoop Dogg and duets with Stevie Wonder and Rod Stewart. He had also reworked a cover of Billy Preston's With You I'm Born Again.
Bobby Womack was inducted in to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2009.