Arts & Entertainment

Composer Burt Bacharach dies at age 94

Washington, Feb 9 (EFE).- Burt Bacharach, the composer of musical hits like “I Say a Little Prayer” and “Do You Know the Way to San Jose,” died Thursday of natural causes in Los Angeles, media outlets reported. He was 94.

Bacharach’s music was an integral part of the pop culture in the 1960s and ’70s – and beyond – but during those decades he turned out beloved songs like the whimsical “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” for which he won two Oscars in 1970 as the theme song for the popular Robert Redford, Paul Newman film “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”

He also won a third Oscar and a total of eight Grammy Awards for his compositions.

Over the course of his 70-plus-year career, Bacharach wrote songs for hugely popular artists such as Dionne Warwick, Dusty Springfield, Tom Jones and Aretha Franklin.

He was born May 12, 1928, in Kansas City, Missouri, but his passion for music exploded when he moved to the New York City borough of Queens, where he visited jazz clubs.

He received his education at McGill University in Montreal, New York’s Mannes School of Music and the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California, and he served in the US army from 1950-1952 as a pianist.

Bacharach had a talent for composing catchy songs that immediately became popular and virtually ubiquitous, and his many memorable pieces – including many Top 10 hits – have been played and covered by countless artists over the years.

Among Bacharach’s best-loved numbers are “Alfie,” “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” and “This Guy’s in Love with You,” as well as “Walk On By” and “Best That You Can Do,” the theme song for the movie “Arthur.”

His popularity was such that he was invited to the White House many times by both Republican and Democratic presidents, and former President Barack Obama presented him with the Gershwin Prize in 2012.

Married four times, Bacharach experimented with his style to write songs that became popular in a variety of genres, including among country artists, rhythm and blues performers, soul and synth-pop, as well as – more recently – even rap, working as he did in the 21st century with Dr. Dre.

In 2018, Bacharach told the Associated Press that “Music softens the heart, makes you feel something if it’s good, brings in emotion that you might not have felt before. … It’s a very powerful thing if you’re able to do to it, if you have it in your heart to do something like that.”

EFE ssia/aaca/bp

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