Bobby Caldwell, 'What You Won't Do For Love' singer, dies at 71
UPI News Service, 03/15/2023
Singer and songwriter Bobby Caldwell, best known for his 1978 hit "What You Won't Do For Love," has died. He was 71.
Caldwell's wife, Mary Caldwell, confirmed the R&B singer's death Tuesday at their New Jersey home.
"Bobby passed away here at home. I held him tight in my arms as he left us. I am forever heartbroken," she wrote. "Thanks to all of you for your many prayers over the years."
Caldwell's wife wrote that the singer "had been 'FLOXED,' it took his health over the last 6 years and 2 months." "Floxed" is term used to describe the rare side effects of fluoroquinolone antibiotics.
Bobby Caldwell, who was born in New York and raised in Miami, got his start playing as a rhythm guitarist for Little Richard in the 1970s before going solo.
Caldwell is best known for his soulful and career-defining hit "What You Won't Do For Love," which hit No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The singer, whose song earned the tag "blue-eyed soul," discussed opening for Natalie Cole and the audience's surprise at discovering he was white.
"Most of the wonderful people I've gotten to know in the radio business, they all say the same thing. It's like a universal language, and should have no barriers," Caldwell told NPR in 2005.
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Following the success of "What You Won't Do For Love," Caldwell wrote songs for a number of other artists, including Chicago, Boz Scaggs, Neil Diamond, and Al Jarreau. He also wrote the hit "The Next Time I Fall" for Amy Grant and Peter Cetera.
"In the songwriter community, I eventually established myself as someone who could be a chameleon and tailor things for other people," Caldwell told the Los Angeles Times in 1991.
"I like doing that, but I don't want to do it for the rest of my life because there is a part of me that loves to perform."
Over his career, Caldwell released more than a dozen albums, including Cool Uncle in 2015.
"'What You Won't Do for Love' put me in that bag," Caldwell said. "I had established such a great audience with that song, what could I do? That was it, I found my niche, and I went with that."
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