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McCartney: I'll be forever grateful to Joe Cocker

Paul leads tributes to late singer who turned Beatles tack into “soul anthem”

Paul McCartney has paid tribute to the late Joe Cocker by saying he’ll be “forever grateful” to the singer for turning Beatles track With A Little Help From My Friends into a “soul anthem.”

The Sheffield-born vocalist died last night at the age of 70 after a battle against lung cancer.

While he scored a string of hits and a number of accolades in his career, he remains well-known for the 1968 rendition of the Fab Four song, which features Jimmy Page on guitar, BJ Wilson of Procol Harum on drums and Tommy Eyre on organ.

McCartney says: “Joe was a lovely northern lad who I loved a lot, and like many people, I loved his singing.

“I was especially pleased when he decided to cover With A Little Help From My Friends. I remember him and Denny Cordell coming round to the studio and Saville Row and playing me what they recorded. It was just mind-blowing. He totally turned the song into a soul anthem, and I was forever grateful to him for doing that.”

Fellow Beatle Ringo Starr said via Twitter: “Goodbye and God bless to Joe Cocker, from one of his friends.”

More tributes

Joe Walsh: You don’t listen to Joe Cocker records – you sing along with them. Thanks for the great music and friendship.

Brian Wilson: I felt bad about Joe passing away. A great singer who made every song his own.

The Doobie Brothers: The world lost a legend today. Joe was truly an original; he’ll be forever missed.

**Keith Emerson: **He was a delightfully modest man who could provide the edge to any song. His delivery was completely original and his voice came from an unbelievable soul that was unlike any other. God bless you, Joe.

Bryan Adams: RIP my good friend. You were one of the best rock singers ever.

Peter Frampton: So sad. You Are So Beautiful is both Joe and Nicky Hopkins’ piano at their very best. Going to play it now.

Steven Tyler: We loved you for ever. We will miss you always.

Paul Stanley: A sad loss to cancer. I remember hearing the first album and that amazing voice. A life of great singing.

Dave Mustaine: To the family of Joe Cocker: I am sorry for your loss. He is rocking Heaven now.

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