R&B vocalist and composer Cecil Womack passed away on the first of February, his brother Bobby has confirmed.
Cecil was best known in the UK for the 1988 hit Teardrops, which he recorded with his second wife Linda Cooke under the name Womack and Womack. The tune was covered by Elton and k.d. Lang on the former's Duets album.
The 65-year-old began his career alongside siblings Bobby, Harry, Friendly Jr. and Curtis in the Womack Brothers, later the Valentinos. Their early sixties hits include Lookin' for a Love (later a bigger solo hit for Bobby) and It's All Over Now.
Before wedding Linda, Cecil was married the former Motown singer Mary Wells. Her career was in decline, but Cecil co-wrote and co-produced several tracks for Mary, including The Doctor in 1968. The couple had three children and divorced in 1977. Two years later, Cecil married Linda Cooke, the daughter of his late mentor, Sam Cooke.
Cecil and Linda had known each other since they were children. After marrying, their careers as songwriters and performers flourished. Besides Elton, artists like George Benson, Johnnie Taylor, Patti LaBelle and Bette Midler covered the pair's songs.
The composer, who lived in South Africa, died from complications related to a spinal injury he suffered in 2010.