Jimmy Scott – American Singing Legend Dies.
Jimmy Scott, the American jazz singer and vocalist whose haunting voice won him praise for more than seven decades, has died at the age of 88. Scott’s wife, Jeanie, said her husband died in his sleep at his Las Vegas house on Thursday. He had battled sickness stemming from a genetic hormone deficiency and had been looked after by a home nurse. Jeanie Scott said her husband stopped gigging two years ago but continued singing in the recording studio. He’s expected to be laid to rest in Cleveland, Ohio.
The singer, whose first major hit was Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool in 1949 alongside the Lionel Hampton Band, gathered a new generations of fans during the 1960s and in the 1990s when he toured with Lou Reed and sang on the track, Sycamore Trees, for the series finale of the hit TV show Twin Peaks.
Jimmy Scott also had a longtime admirer in Madonna and starred in her music video for “Secret” in 1999. Madonna reportedly said of the jazz vocalist, “Jimmy Scott is the only singer who’d ever really made me cry.”
Born into a family of 10 in Cleveland, Ohio, on 17 July 1925, Scott began his singing career in a church choir as a child. His signature falcesto voice came from Kallmann’s syndrome, which kept him from experiencing puberty and stoppedhis growth. He stood just under five feet as an adultand his voice did not change.
Although that health issue ultimately helped Scott stand out as a singer, he also suffered from congestive heart failure and had a poor lifestyle that included heavy drinking and smoking.
Despite his young sounding voice, Scott brought heavy emotion to his delivery, often dramatically drawing out lyrics and singing far behind the beat. The technique won praise from Billie Holiday, Nancy Wilson and Madonna, who after seeing him perform in 1994 told the New York Times that Scott was the only singer who ever made her cry. “Jimmy had soul way back when people weren’t using the word,” Ray Charles once said in a PBS documentary on the history of jazz.
The album Falling in Love Is Wonderful came out in the 1960s and is widely considered to be his masterpiece, although he largely disappeared from view until his 1990s career revival. His 1992 album All the Way sold only 49,000 copies in the America but earned him cult-like popularity in Europe and Asia, particularly Japan, where he often sold out performances.
A record label issue prevented Scott from making an album in the 1950s produced by Ray Charles. Scott’s previous record company, Savoy Records, said it had an exclusive, lifetime contract with him, and the company stopped Scott’s efforts to release new records for nearly 20 years.
Savoy Records dropped the matter in the 1970s. By that time, Scott had returned to Cleveland, where he had worked as a hotel clerk and nursing home aide. Scott performed at Dwight Eisenhower’s and Bill Clinton’s presidential inaugurations and was inducted into the R&B Music Hall of Fame in 2013.
His wife Jeanie said on Friday: “He was an Earth angel. He was different from any person I ever met. He was kind, humble. Everyone he met he made them feel special. He had a hard life, but he didn’t hold any resentment.” Describing Scott to the Observer in 2010, the Amercian singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens said : “He sang in this lilting, odd, almost grandmotherly voice, but it was also so youthful. It was like he was extremely old and extremely young simultaneously.
Watch Jimmy Scott perform live here. This is amazing;