Burt Bacharach, a famous composer of 20th-century pop music, has passed away at the age of 94. His publicist confirmed that he died of natural causes due to old age.
Bacharach’s songs became iconic in the 1950s, 60s, 70s, and 80s. He not only created memorable movie soundtrack songs but also helped many music stars top the charts. Throughout his career, he had over 50 chart hits in the US and UK, collaborating with artists like Dionne Warwick, Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, Barbra Streisand, Tom Jones, Aretha Franklin, and Elvis Costello, among others.
Bacharach frequently worked with lyricist Hal David, and together they crafted enduring hits like “What The World Needs Now Is Love,” “I Say A Little Prayer,” “Walk on By,” “Alfie,” and “What’s New Pussycat?” He received numerous awards, including a lifetime achievement Grammy in 2008, which recognized him as music’s “greatest living composer.” He also won three Oscars, two Golden Globes, and five more Grammy awards.
Bacharach was both an innovator and someone who embraced older styles, excelling in various forms of art. He was truly unique.
He had four marriages in his life, but his deepest connection was with creating music, something he was wholly devoted to and loved.
Bacharach was born in Kansas City, Missouri, but grew up in Kew Gardens, New York. His passion for music, particularly jazz, emerged in his childhood.
Some people considered his music as “easy listening” and old-fashioned. His upbeat pop songs and smooth, jazzy tunes defined the 1960s. You can hear his songs in TV shows like Mad Men and movies like Austin Powers. Bacharach even made memorable appearances in the Austin Powers films, performing “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” with Elvis Costello on an open-top bus.
Interestingly, the song “The Look of Love” influenced the character of Austin Powers in Mike Myers. Myers heard the song and thought about the bygone era of swingers.
Speaking about Bacharach, Elvis Costello said in a 2018 interview, “The simple way to describe him is that he’s associated with easy listening, but there’s nothing easy about his music. Try playing or singing his songs.”
While creating some of his most unforgettable tunes, Bacharach was dealing with personal grief. After four failed marriages, he tragically lost his 40-year-old daughter, who had autism and was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. She took her own life six years after the diagnosis.
These difficult experiences deeply influenced Bacharach’s music and added profound emotional depth to his work.
Rest in peace, Burt Bacharach. Your songs will endure forever.