Wilson Pickett: 1941-2006

Soul singer dies after a heart attack

Soul singer Wilson Pickett has died aged 64.

The star, known for hits including ‘Mustang Sally’ and ‘In The Midnight Hour’, suffered a heart attack yesterday (January 19) in Virginia.

Famed for his screams, Pickett was born in Prattville, Alabama, in 1941 and first achieved fame with his 1965 breakthrough hit ‘In The Midnight Hour’ – a classic he co-wrote and which was later covered by artists as varied as The Jam and BB King.

He then enjoyed a series of hits in 1960s while signed to the legendary Stax label, often recording with house band Booker T And The MGs.

In the 1970s a label switch led to a downturn in Pickett’s fortunes, a period he once described as a “career breakdown”, and during the 1990s he was arrested for cocaine possession and drunk driving.

However Pickett revived his fortunes somewhat following the release of film ‘The Commitments’ in 1991, in which the star was idolised by a fictional Dublin soul band.

That same year the singer was inducted into the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall Of Fame and in his last album, ‘It’s Harder Now’, was nominated for a Grammy in 1999.

Pickett is survived by a fiancée, two sons and two daughters. According to his manager the star will be buried in Louisville, Kentucky next week.