Jackie Wilson was an American singer and musician who is best known for his song “Reet Petite” which became a popular standard. This will be edited later with additional information as needed.

Jackie Wilson, the “how did jackie wilson die” singer was born on November 4th, 1929 in Detroit. He died on July 18th, 1988 in Los Angeles.

Jackie Wilson Biography, Songs, & Albums |

Jackie Wilson was one of the most important agents of Black pop’s transition from R&B into soul. In terms of vocal power (especially in the upper register), few could outdo him, and he was an electrifying on-stage showman. He was a consistent hitmaker from the mid-’50s through the early ’70s, although never a crossover superstar. His reputation isn’t quite on par with Ray Charles, James Brown, or Sam Cooke, however, because his records didn’t always reflect his artistic genius. Indeed, there is a consensus of sorts among critics that Wilson was something of an underachiever in the studio, due to the sometimes inappropriately pop-based material and arrangements that he used.

Wilson was well-known on the R&B scene before he went solo in the late ’50s. In 1953, he replaced Clyde McPhatter in Billy Ward & the Dominoes, one of the top R&B vocal groups of the ’50s. Although McPhatter was himself a big star, Wilson was as good as or better than the man whose shoes he stepped in to fill. Commercially, however, things took a downturn for the Dominoes in the Wilson years, although they did manage a Top 20 hit with “St. Therese of the Roses” in 1956. Elvis Presley was one of those who was mightily impressed by Wilson in the mid-’50s; he can be heard praising Jackie’s on-stage cover of “Don’t Be Cruel” in between-song banter during the Million Dollar Quartet session in late 1956.

Wilson would score his first big R&B (and small pop) hit in late 1956 with the brassy, stuttering “Reet Petite,” which was co-written by an emerging Detroit songwriter named Berry Gordy, Jr. Gordy would also help write a few other hits for Wilson in the late ’50s: “To Be Loved,” “Lonely Teardrops,” “That’s Why (I Love You So),” and “I’ll Be Satisfied” also crossed over to the pop charts, with “Lonely Teardrops” making the Top Ten. Most of these were upbeat, creatively arranged marriages of pop and R&B that, in retrospect, helped set the stage both for ’60s soul and for Gordy’s own huge pop success at Motown. The early Gordy-Wilson association has led some historians to speculate how much differently (and better) Wilson’s career might have turned out had he been on Motown’s roster instead of the Brunswick label.

Jackie Wilson at the Copa Wilson maintained his pop popularity in the early 1960s with a steady stream of hit songs that included horn arrangements and female choruses that have aged poorly in compared to the more inventive work of colleagues such as Charles and Brown at the time. Wilson also dabbled with operatic pop, as seen by “Danny Boy” and “Night,” one of his greatest songs (1960). At the same time, he was still capable of releasing a steamy, uptempo, gospel-soaked tune: “Baby Workout,” a number five hit for him in 1963, suited that description to a tee. True, you have to be picky when it comes to finding decent Wilson songs from this period; 1962’s At the Copa, for example, finds him attempting to mix soul with all-around entertaining, and failing miserably at both. Some of his early Brunswick songs, though, is excellent uptown soul; it’s not quite as earthy as some of his admirers would have wanted, but it’s worth listening.

Wilson was shot by a female admirer and critically injured in 1961, but he survived. His failure to keep up with evolving soul and rock styles jeopardized his career even further. Not everything he accomplished in the mid-’60s is completely dismissible; “No Pity (In the Naked City),” for example, is a kind of uptown soul version of West Side Story. His career was temporarily rejuvenated in 1966 when he hooked up with Chicago soul producer Carl Davis, who had helped Gene Chandler, Major Lance, and Jerry Butler achieve success in the Windy City. With horn-heavy arrangements, Davis effectively modernized Wilson’s sound, enabling him reach close to the Top Ten with “Whispers” and then to number six with “Higher and Higher” in 1967. Wilson’s career was coming to an end, but he did have a few modest chart appearances in the early 1970s.

Wilson had a heart attack onstage while performing “Lonely Teardrops” during a Dick Clark oldies event at the Latin Casino in New Jersey in September 1975. He went into a coma and was hospitalized until his death in early 1984, after suffering significant brain damage.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happened to singer Jackie Wilson?

A: Jackie Wilson died on May 18, 1984.

Is Jackie Wilson alive?

A: Unfortunately, the answer to this question is unknown. No sources have confirmed that Jackie Wilson was alive or dead at the time of his death in 1984.

Was Jackie Wilson ever married?

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