Seven-time Grammy winner Al Jarreau dies at 76

LOS ANGELES, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Jazz and R&B singer Al Jarreau, a seven-time Grammy winner whose hits included "We're in This Love Together" and "Moonlighting," died on Sunday in Los Angeles at age 76, just days after announcing he was retiring from touring because of poor health.

His Facebook page said Jarreau "passed away this morning, at about 600am LA time. He was in the hospital, kept comfortable by his wife, son, and a few of his family and friends."

No cause of death was given.

Jarreau was hospitalized for exhaustion last week and forced to cancel his remaining tour dates for 2017. He announced on Wednesday he was giving up touring.

A post on his Facebook page on Thursday said he had been "recovering slowly and steadily."

"His son reports that he caught his dad singing 'Moonlighting' to one of the nurses the morning ... a very encouraging sign," the post said of the theme song to the 1980s American television show starring Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd.

The "Moonlighting" theme, for which he wrote the lyrics, cemented his place in pop culture.

Jarreau was considered one of jazz's greatest vocalists, with a mastery of scat singing and vocal percussion. But his smooth, breezy hit "We're in This Love Together" from the 1981 album "Breakin' Away" made him a mainstream commercial success.

Al Jarreau through the years
See Gallery
Al Jarreau through the years
Music composer Al Jarreau gestures at the Ebony magazine pre-Oscar party at Boulevard 3 in Hollywood, California February 21, 2008. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (UNITED STATES)
U.S. musician Al Jarreau performs on stage at the Vienna State Opera House as part of the annual Vienna Jazz Festival July 5, 2007. REUTERS/Herwig Prammer (AUSTRIA)
U.S. singer Al Jarreau performs tracks from his latest album "Accentuate The Positive" at Viveros Gardens in Valencia, Spain, July 29, 2005. The five-time Grammy winner will be touring Europe for the next two weeks. Picture taken July 29, 2005. REUTERS/Heino Kalis SV/mk
U.S. singer Al Jarreau performs during a concert of the Oviedo Jazz Festival at the Principe Felipe Auditorium in Oviedo July 19, 2006. REUTERS/Eloy Alonso (SPAIN)
Al Jarreau holds the Grammy for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for "Breezin'" at the 49th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles February 11, 2007. REUTERS/Mike Blake (UNITED STATES)
Jazz singer Al Jarreau (L) and legendary jazz pianist Dave Brubeck perform "Take Five" together for the first time ever in concert, during the second day of the 25th Playboy Jazz Festival, at the Hollywood Bowl in Hollywood, California, June 15, 2003. The event, which draws a sold out crowd of over 17,000 people, features the worlds best jazz musicians. REUTERS/Fred Prouser FSP/GN
Award winning singer Al Jarreau hams it up for photographers following a ceremony honoring him with the 2,174th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, March 6, 2001 in Los Angeles. Some 150 friends, fans and family members attended the ceremony. JR/HB
Playboy Magazine founder Hugh Hefner and jazz musician Al Jarreau pose together after a news conference at the Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills February 19. The pair announced the line-up for the Playboy Jazz festival which will be held at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles in June 1998. USA
BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 15: American singer Al Jarreau performs live during a concert at the Philharmonie on November 15, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Frank Hoensch/Redferns)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 15: Al Jarreau performs onstage during the Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Vocals Competition 2015 at Dolby Theatre on November 15, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz)
TURIN, EUROPE, ITALY - 2015/07/19: The American singer Al Jarreau (Alwyn Lopez Jarreau) performs during his live concert in the tenth edition of Gru Village. Al Jarreau is the only singer to have won three Grammy Award in three different categories: jazz, pop and R & B. (Photo by Elena Aquila/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 27: Al Jarreau performs at 2015 Rock in Rio on September 27, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Mauricio Santana/Getty Images)

Jarreau died hours before Sunday's Grammy Awards, the biggest night of the year for the music industry.

"Breakin' Away" won the Grammy for Best Pop Performance. He also won Grammys for best jazz vocal performance, best pop vocal performance, best R&B vocal performance, and most recently in 2006 for best traditional R&B vocal performance along with George Benson and Jill Scott for "God Bless the Child."

"Rest in power, @AlJarreau," fellow singer Chaka Khan wrote on Twitter. "U were EVERYTHING Jazz & beyond with an unrivaled improvisational genius. Love & prayers 2 his family & fans."

Born Alwin Lopez Jarreau in Milwaukee on March 12, 1940, his first album came out in 1975 and he made his Billboard chart debut in 1981 with "We're in This Love Together," reported.

The song was his highest-charting hit, reaching No. 15 in November 1981, Billboard said.

He was also one of the stars to sing on the single "We Are the World" to raise money for famine relief in Africa, getting a solo line between Willie Nelson and Bruce Springsteen. (Reporting by Daniel Trotta in New York; Editing by Mary Milliken and Peter Cooney)

Read Full Story