Chuck Jackson, former vocalist for The Del-Vikings and singer of Burt Bacharach and Bob Hilliard’s “Any Day Now,” has died at 85. The R&B singer, who made several notable hits throughout the 1950s and ’60s, passed away on Feb. 16 in Atlanta.
Ady Croasdell of Kent Records — a United Kingdom based label that has been reissuing Jackson’s records through Ace Records — confirmed the singer’s death in a Facebook statement, but did not cite an official cause of death.
“There are confirmed reports that one of the very greatest soul singers of all time, Chuck Jackson, died on February 16th,” Croasdell wrote. “His 60s and 70s recordings are hugely important works, revered as much now as on release…His passing will be deeply felt around the world.”
Dionne Warwick, who was a friend and collaborator of Jackson’s, issued a statement about his death.
“Another heartache has come my way. Chuck Jackson has made his transition. He was my label mate on Scepter Records and was like a big brother to me,” Warwick said in a statement shared with Billboard. “I’ll truly miss his daily calls checking on me and his wonderful voice. Rest in heavenly peace my dear friend.”
Jackson’s singing career started in 1957, when he became a member of The Del-Vikings; he sang lead on the group’s track “Willette.” His tenure with the group concluded in 1959, and he was soon discovered by Luther Dixon while opening for Jackie Wilson at the Apollo Theater in New York City.
After signing a deal with Scepter Records imprint Wand Records, Jackson co-wrote his first single, “I Don’t Want to Cry,” with Dixon, and recorded the track in November of 1960. The song became the R&B singer’s first hit, but it wasn’t until Jackson’s 1962 recording of “Any Day Now,” written by Bacharach and Hilliard, that he saw widespread acclaim. “Any Day Now” became a signature hit for him, and his subsequent success earned him a contract with Motown Records. Other ’60s hits for the star included “Tell Him I’m Not Home,” “Beg Me,” “If I Didn’t Love You” and “Since I Don’t Have You.”
Jackson’s catalogue also spawned a series of hits for other artists. Ronnie Milsap covered Jackson’s “Any Day Now,” while Jackson’s “I Keep Forgettin'” was covered by Michael McDonald as well as David Bowie. The late R&B singer recorded over 20 albums throughout his career — one of his final LP’s, 1997’s I’ll Never Get Over You, featured “If I Let Myself Go,” a collaboration with Warwick.