Dionne Warwick is honoring a man who helped her create magical music. Burt Bacharach, the well-known pianist and composer who won six Grammy awards and was responsible for hits like “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” and “(They Long to Be) Close to You,” passed away on Wednesday at the age of 94.
“Burt’s transition is like losing a family member,” Warwick said in a statement of Bacharach’s passing. “These words I’ve been asked to write are being written with sadness over the loss of my Dear Friend and my Musical Partner.”
According to many, one of the 20th century’s most influential composers was Burt Bacharach. He co-wrote hundreds of pop songs with longtime partner and lyricist Hal David, including “This Guy’s in Love With You” by Herb Alpert, “(They Long to Be) Close to You” by the Carpenters, and “That’s What Friends Are For” by Rod Stewart.
In 1961, he also came across Warwick, who was delivering background vocals for the Drifters when they recorded “Mexican Divorce.” He and David would go on to write several of Warwick’s songs, including “Don’t Make Me Over,” “Anyone Who Had a Heart,” “Walk on By,” “Alfie,” “I Say a Little Prayer,” and “Do You Know the Way to San Jose,” making her a household name in the process.
Bacharach and Warwick, meanwhile, had a falling out after Bacharach and David broke their working partnership in the 1970s because the singer sued them for contract breach. After the dispute was resolved, Bacharach and Warwick reconnected for her 1984 album, Finder of Lost Loves, and continued to collaborate for decades after that.
Perhaps alluding to this snag, Warwick added of her longtime partner in her statement on Thursday, “On the lighter side, we joked a lot and had our run-ins, but always found a way to let one other know our family, like roots, were the most critical part of our partnership.
She concluded, “My heartfelt condolences go out to his family, letting them know he is now peacefully resting, and I, too, will miss him.”
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