The music world is mourning the loss of Burt Bacharach, the legendary pop composer who gifted us with an abundance of timeless hits such as “Walk on By,” “What the World Needs Now Is Love,” “I Say a Little Prayer,” “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” “(They Long to Be) Close to You,” and many more. The 94-year-old songwriter passed away at his home in Los Angeles due to natural causes, according to a statement from his publicist.
Growing up in Kansas City and later moving to Queens, New York, Bacharach spent his youthful years immersing himself in jazz music and sneaking into clubs to study. In 1957, he met lyricist Hal David, with whom he would go on to create the new standard for pop music. Their songs “The Story of My Life” and “Magic Moments” became instant hits for Marty Robbins and Perry Como, respectively, and from there, the duo went on to establish themselves among the greatest songwriting partnerships of the 1960s.
Bacharach and David provided a string of hits for Dionne Warwick, Dusty Springfield, and Herb Alpert, and their songbook remains one of the most covered in popular music. Some of the artists who have interpreted their music include the Beatles, Aretha Franklin, the Walker Brothers, Nina Simone, and Isaac Hayes. In recent years, their music has been revitalized by covers from artists such as Jim O’Rourke and the White Stripes.
In addition to their contribution to the music world, Bacharach and David also left their mark on the film industry, scoring and soundtracking films such as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and What’s New Pussycat?. They were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1972 and received the Library of Congress’ Gershwin Prize for Popular Song in 2012, the same year that Hal David passed away.
Burt Bacharach will forever be remembered as a musical genius and his music will continue to live on.