Al Jarreau, the legendary jazz singer who won seven Grammy awards, died Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, according to multiple news sources. He was 76.|
His death came two days after an announcement was made on his website that he was retiring from touring because of exhaustion.
The singer's death was announced in a statement by his manager, Joe Gordon. Gordon said that instead of flowers or gifts, Jarreau's family requested contributions be made to the Wisconsin Foundation for School Music.
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Jarreau was born March 12, 1940, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His father was a minister, and he started singing in church as a young boy. Jarreau told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel it was at Lincoln High School where "my love of music and singing really deepened. I began to have ideas of taking this as far as it could go. And I kept dreaming that dream and nourishing that dream."
After moving to San Francisco, he made a name for himself singing with acoustic guitarist Julio Martinez.
Jarreau moved on to Los Angeles and sang at clubs such as the Troubador. He appeared on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" and sang on “Saturday Night Live” during the show's inaugural season. Jarreau became known for his rhythmic scat singing.
He was signed to Warner Brothers Records and released his debut record titled “We Got By,” which led to international fame.
His most successful album, “Breakin’ Away,” came out in 1981 and featured his biggest song, “We’re in This Love Together,” a smooth jazz-pop track. Jarreau was also a vocalist on the all-star 1985 track, "We Are the World."
Jarreau released 20 albums during his career and is the only Grammy-winning singer to win in the jazz, pop, and rhythm and blues categories.
Jarreau performed many concerts during the past year including one for President Barack Obama at the White House.
The legendary Apollo Theater tweeted, "IN HONOR OF A TRUE JAZZ LEGEND YOUR LEGACY WILL LAST FOREVER"