Soul icon Solomon Burke earns posthumous Grammy nod

Thu Dec 2, 2010 2:10am EST
 
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Solomon Burke, the larger-than-life soul legend who died in October, received a Grammy nomination on Wednesday for his final album.

Burke was nominated in the contemporary blues category for "Nothing's Impossible," which was released in April, coinciding with his 70th birthday. The only other Grammy win of his five-decade career was in this category in 2003 with "Don't Give Up On Me."

He will vie for the prize with albums by versatile singer/songwriter Dr. John, blues guitarist Buddy Guy, soul revivalist Bettye LaVette, and the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band. The winner will be announced during ceremonies on February 13.

Burke, who had long battled weight problems, died of natural causes after he had just flown in to Amsterdam to perform a concert. He is perhaps best known for a string of hits during the early 1960s, particularly the oft-covered R&B standard "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love."

He also kept busy with a range of entrepreneurial activities, ranging from cooking and selling food at his own concerts back in his early days to latter-day endeavors as both a preacher and a mortician. He also found time to father 21 children.

"Nothing's Impossible" marked one of the final projects produced by Memphis hitmaker Willie Mitchell, who died in January. "Burke ... pushes his voice, here getting his hot gospel on, there teasing the words 'love,' 'dream' and 'screeeeeam' into microdramas," Rolling Stone magazine said in a review.

(Reporting by Dean Goodman; Editing by Eric Beech)