US & Canada

Al Jarreau: Seven-time Grammy-winning jazz singer dies at 76

A file picture dated 03 July 2016 shows US jazz singer Al Jarreau performs on stage of Montreux Jazz Club Image copyright EPA
Image caption Jarreau was being treated in a Los Angeles hospital

Seven-time Grammy Award-winning jazz and pop singer Al Jarreau has died in Los Angeles at the age of 76, his publicist says.

The cause of his death was not immediately clear. He was in a hospital being treated for exhaustion.

A rare artist to have won a Grammy in jazz, pop and R&B categories, Jarreau was famed for writing the theme to hit television show Moonlighting.

Earlier this month, he retired from touring after more than 50 years.

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1940, he started singing as a child, joining his family in church concerts and events.

But his career did not kick off until years later - first, he graduated in psychology and worked at a rehabilitation centre in San Francisco.

His first album, We Got By, came out in 1975 and earned him a German Grammy.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption He won his seventh Grammy in 2007
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Jarreau, seen here during a performance in 1993, used to sing with his family in church events

One year later, he launched Glow, with which he also won a German Grammy. In 1977, he released a live album, Look to the Rainbow, which earned him his first Grammy for best jazz singer.

He was awarded again one year later, this time for the album All Fly Home.

He then crossed over into pop, and in 1981, launched Breakin Away, which included the hit We're in This Love Together, which catapulted him to fame. Another Grammy came in, this time as best pop singer.

Finally, his 1992 Heaven and Earth album earned him a Grammy for best R&B vocal performance, meaning he had prizes in the three categories.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Jarreau retired from touring earlier this month due to his health condition

According to a post on the star's Twitter profile, his son had recently caught Jarreau singing Moonlighting to one of the nurses in hospital.

Jarreau had suffered health issues in recent years and was hospitalised in 2010 for respiratory problems when touring in France.

A statement on his website read: "His 2nd priority in life was music. There was no 3rd. His 1st priority, far ahead of the other, was healing or comforting anyone in need.

"Whether it was emotional pain, or physical discomfort, or any other cause of suffering, he needed to put our minds at ease and our hearts at rest."

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