One Of Pop Music’s Greatest Songwriters Dies At 94
Legendary songwriter Burt Bacharach has passed away. According to his publicist, Tina Brausam, he died of natural causes at his home in Los Angeles on Thursday February 9, 2023. He was 94 years old.
When Bacharach was a boy, he learned to play the piano at the urging of his mother. Then he went on to perform in nightclubs before going to the McGill University in Montreal, the Mannes School of Music in New York City and the Music Academy of the West in Montecito, California. After all of that education, he joined the army. His job was to play the piano for the officer’s club.
After the army, in 1957, Bacharach met songwriter Hal David. The duo soon started working together and wrote hit song after hit song. Their songs were covered by singers from virtually every musical genera. For example, Dionne Warwick sang “Walk on By” and “Do You Know the Way to San Jose.” Perry Commo sang “Magic Moments.” Gene Pitney recorded “Only Love Can Break a Heart.” Other stars who sang their songs include Elvis Costello, Luther Vandross, Marty Robbins and The Carpenters.
Bacharach also wrote multiple theme songs and received multiple Oscar nominations. He won an Oscar and a Grammy for “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” In total, he won 8 Grammys throughout his career.
Bacharach was married a total of four times. His most recent marriage was in 1993 to Jan Hansen. He is survived by Hansen and three children, Oliver, Raleigh and Cristopher. His daughter Nikki preceded him in death. In 2007, she committed suicide. She was 40 years old. It turns out she had Asperger’s but had not been diagnosed.
In honor of his daughter, Bacharach later scored the movie “A Boy Called Po” which was about a father raising a son with autism.
Listen to one of Bacharach’s most well known songs, “What the World Needs Now,” in the video below.