Diane Warren, Brian Wilson, Sheryl Crow and Emmy-winning screenwriter Larry Karaszewski are among the stars remembering Burt Bacharach.
The Grammy- and Oscar-winning composer died Wednesday of natural causes at his home in Los Angeles. He was 94.
Through his partnership with Hal David, Bacharach brought swanky sophistication to pop music in the ’60s.
He won three Oscars and eight Grammys and composed the music for roughly 50 top 10 hits, including “Walk on By,” “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” “What the World Needs Now Is Love,” “What’s New Pussycat?” “(They Long to Be) Close to You,” and “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?”
Crow, who performed Bacharach’s song “Dancing With My Shadow,” from the 2016 film A Boy Called Po, for which he also wrote his first score in 16 years, called getting to know him, “one of the great thrills and honors” of her life.
“There will never be anyone like him and as a songwriter, he set the bar,” she wrote on Twitter.
Many of Bacharach and David’s songs were performed by Dianne Warwick, whose singing style inspired Bacharach on his melodies for “I Say a Little Prayer” and others. A number of people remembering Bacharach on social media highlighted his collaborations with Warwick.
In a statement Warwick indicated she was saddened to have to write about the death of her “dear friend” and “musical partner.”
“Burt’s transition is like losing a family member,” she wrote in part. “On the lighter side we laughed a lot and had our run ins, but always found a way to let each other know our family, like roots, were the most important part of our relationship. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family, letting them know he is now peacefully resting and I too will miss him.”
Motown founder Berry Gordy, echoed Warwick’s thoughts, praising Bacharach’s work with Hal David.
“In the ‘60s, he and his writing partner Hal David wrote hit after hit, capturing the spirit of the times. Songs like ‘What the World Needs Now is Love,’ ‘Walk on By’ and my favorite ‘Anyone Who Had a Heart.’ Their music was sophisticated and innovative with unique feelings, timing and rhythms,” Gordy wrote in his own statement. “They had to find the perfect vocalist and they did exactly that in Dionne Warwick, who made it all look easy. Over the years, no matter who Burt collaborated with, there was always a recognizable ‘Bacharach’ sound and magic to his songs. He was a unique writer whose music always touched my heart. I will miss him, but I know Burt’s amazing legacy will live on forever.”
He also reached a new generation through cameos in the Austin Powers film series. Mike Myers’ lead character was a vocal fan of the composer. Shortly after Bacharach’s death, many people on Twitter were posting clips of his Austin Powers cameos.
American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers board chairman and president Paul Williams called Bacharach “a true giant of American popular music.”
“Burt Bacharach’s music set a high bar for songwriters,” Williams said in a statement. “It was complex, yet elegant — a combination that produced hit after hit. The iconic songs he wrote with lyricist Hal David and others are an indelible part of our culture. They were an inspiration to me personally as a songwriter and to every generation since. Burt, we’ll miss you and your light touch at the piano. Thanks for the music.”
Read on to see what people are saying about Bacharach.
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