Al Jarreau, the strikingly versatile, technically virtuosic singer who traversed jazz, pop, R&B, Brazilian music and more, died Feb. 12 in Los Angeles. His death was announced in a note from his management addressed to “friends, family and colleagues.” He was 76, and had cancelled his upcoming concert dates and retired from touring on Feb. 7, after being hospitalized for exhaustion in L.A.
Jarreau became a star in the early 1980s thanks to a series of R&B and pop hits including “We’re in This Love Together” and the title track from the album Breakin’ Away, which earned both pop and jazz vocal Grammy Awards. Other hits included “So Good,” “Mornin’,” “Trouble in Paradise” and the theme from the TV series Moonlighting, which made him a household name. Throughout his popular success, Jarreau always kept a toe touching the jazz medium where he got his start in the mid-1960s, and found himself digging deeper into the form as he grew older.