Composer Burt Bacharach dies aged 94

Composer Burt Bacharach dies aged 94 <i>(Image: Burt B)</i>
Composer Burt Bacharach dies aged 94 (Image: Burt B)

Burt Bacharach, the composer of classic pop songs including I Say A Little Prayer and Walk On By, has died at the age of 94.

His publicist confirmed that he died surrounded by relatives at home on Wednesday, and said Bacharach’s family requested privacy at this time.

The songwriter and pianist wrote hundreds of songs from the 1960s to the 1980s, many with his long-standing lyricist Hal David, who died in 2012 aged 91.

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Bacharach wrote hits for artists including Cilla Black, Dusty Springfield, Sir Tom Jones and the Carpenters.

Burt Bacharach death
Burt Bacharach death

Springfield was one of his best known collaborators, producing a series of hits that are still well-played today, including The Look Of Love, while he also composed What’s New Pussycat? and Promise Her Anything for Sir Tom.

US singer Dionne Warwick was another of his favourite collaborators, co-writing 1985 hit That’s What Friends Are For which featured Sir Elton John, Stevie Wonder, and Gladys Knight.

He was nominated for 21 Grammy Awards, winning six.

Bacharach was also a three-time Oscar winner, receiving two Academy awards in 1970 for his original score for Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid and for Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head.

In 1982 he and his then-wife, lyricist Carole Bayer Sager, won the Oscar for Best That You Can Do from Arthur.

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Burt Bacharach death
Burt Bacharach death

Other notable film soundtracks included his 1967 James Bond spoof Casino Royale.

In 2008, he was proclaimed music’s “greatest living composer” as he accepted the Grammy lifetime achievement award.

More recently Bacharach developed a songwriting partnership with Elvis Costello, the British new wave singer-songwriter, and they were due to release a compilation of their published songs from the last 30 years in the coming months.

Missouri-born Bacharach developed a sound that incorporated jazz, soul and bossa nova, and was easily recognisable no matter which of the many performers he worked with was delivering vocals.

He is survived by his fourth wife Jane Hansen, who he married in 1993, and his three children Oliver and Raleigh from his marriage to Hansen, and Cristopher who he shared with ex-wife Sager.