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What was Joe Cocker’s Net Worth?
Joe Cocker was an English rock and blues singer who had a net worth of $60 million. Joe Cocker was best known for his bluesy vocals and expressive stage presence. In 1968, he achieved almost instant fame with his cover of the Beatles song “With a Little Help from My Friends,” which reached number one in the UK. Cocker had further hits with his covers of “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window” and “You Are So Beautiful,” as well as with “Up Where We Belong,” a duet with Jennifer Warnes.
Joe Cocker was the recipient of several awards, including a 1983 Grammy Award for “Up Where We Belong.” In 1993, he was nominated for the Brit Award for Best British Male and in 2007 he received an OBE at Buckingham Palace for services to music. Cocker was ranked No. 97 on Rolling Stone’s 100 greatest singers list.
Joe died on December 22, 2014 at the age of 70. He had been battling lung cancer.
Joe Cocker was born on May 20, 1944 in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England as the youngest son of Harold, a civil servant who at the time was an aircraft man in the Royal Air Force. His mother was named Madge. Growing up, Cocker was inspired by the music of Ray Charles and Lonnie Donegan. Alongside a trio of friends in 1960, he formed his first music group, the Cavaliers. After the group broke up a year later, Cocker dropped out of school and became an apprentice gas-fitter at the East Midlands Gas Board.
In 1961, Cocker adopted the stage name Vance Arnold and formed a new music group called Vance Arnold and the Avengers. The group mostly performed in Sheffield pubs doing covers of Ray Charles and Chuck Berry tunes. In 1964, Cocker signed a contract as a solo act with Decca Records. He subsequently released his first single, a cover of “I’ll Cry Instead” by the Beatles. The release ultimately flopped, and Cocker’s contract with Decca expired by the end of the year. Following this, Cocker formed a new group called Joe Cocker’s Blues Band; he then took a year-long hiatus from recording. He returned in 1966 to form the Grease Band with Chris Stainton.
Rise to Fame
Cocker rose to fame in 1968 with the release of his Beatles cover “With a Little Help from My Friends.” A massive commercial success, it remained in the top ten of the UK Singles Chart for 13 weeks before peaking at number one. Later, in the 80s, the song would be memorably used as the theme to the television sitcom “The Wonder Years.” Following his commercial breakthrough, Cocker embarked on a tour with the Grease Band, first in the UK in late 1968 and then in the US in early 1969. In April of the latter year, Cocker released his debut album, “With a Little Help from My Friends,” which featured the titular hit cover. The album made it to number 35 on the Billboard 200, and was eventually certified Gold.
Further Albums and Singles
In November of 1969, Cocker released his second album, entitled “Joe Cocker!” Featuring a number of covers of Bob Dylan songs, as well as a hit cover of the Beatles’ “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window,” the album reached number 11 on the Billboard 200. Cocker went on to have further success with covers of “Feelin’ Alright,” “Cry Me a River,” and “The Letter,” the lattermost of which became his first top ten hit in the US. In 1972, Cocker released his third, self-titled album, which included the hit single “High Time We Went.” Two years later, he released his fourth album, “I Can Stand a Little Rain”; it included the hit single “You Are So Beautiful,” a cover of the Billy Preston song. Cocker’s subsequent albums were “Jamaica Say You Will,” “Stingray,” “Luxury You Can Afford,” and the reggae-influenced “Sheffield Steel.”
In 1982, Cocker had one of his greatest hits with “Up Where We Belong,” a duet with Jennifer Warnes written for the romantic drama film “An Officer and a Gentleman.” A huge commercial success, the song went to number one on the Billboard 100, and won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo. It also won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Following this, Cocker went on to release several more albums as a solo artist, including “Civilized Man,” “Cocker,” “Unchain My Heart,” “One Night of Sin,” “Organic,” “Respect Yourself,” “Hymn for My Soul,” and “Hard Knocks.” Cocker’s 22nd and final album, “Fire it Up,” came out in November of 2012.
Cocker was prolific on the world tour stage. During his US tour in the late 60s, he performed at the Denver Pop Festival, the Newport Rock Festival, and, most famously, the Woodstock Festival. Meanwhile, in the UK, he performed at the Isle of Wight Festival. In the early 70s, Cocker formed a new group called Mad Dogs & Englishmen for a tour of nearly 50 cities across the US. During this time, he began drinking excessively due to depression. Cocker went on to tour with a group Chris Stainton had formed, performing at Madison Square Garden and other venues throughout the US and Europe. A little later, during his Australian tour, Cocker and members of his entourage were arrested for possessing cannabis; the following day, Cocker was forced to leave the country due to his involvement in a public brawl in Melbourne.
Accompanied by a new band, Cocker toured New Zealand, Australia, and South America in 1976. A few years later, he was part of the Woodstock in Europe tour, and also performed in Central Park in New York. Cocker continued to tour globally throughout the 80s in Europe, Australia, and the US. Notably, he was among the first artists to hold rock concerts in East Germany. Cocker kept on touring late into his life, performing across North America, Europe, and Australia through 2013.
Personal Life and Death
In 1963, Cocker started a relationship with Eileen Webster; after dating off and on for 13 years, they finally split for good in 1976. Two years after that, Cocker began dating Pam Baker, a summer camp director who persuaded actress Jane Fonda to lend Cocker her ranch in Santa Barbara, California. Cocker and Baker eventually married in 1987.
A heavy smoker, Cocker passed away from lung cancer in December of 2014. He was 70 years of age.