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Last Updated: Friday, 6 January 2006, 17:54 GMT
Soul singer Rawls dies of cancer
Rawls championed a range of musical styles during his career
R&B singer Lou Rawls has died of lung cancer in Los Angeles aged 72.

The performer, best-known for his 1976 hit You'll Never Find (Another Love Like Mine), died at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, his publicist said.

During a career lasting more than 50 years, Rawls won three Grammy Awards with his distinctive, velvety voice.

He released more than 75 albums, and was also known for his collaborations with Sam Cooke. He leaves his wife Nina and an infant son.

Church choir

Rawls' publicist, Paul Shefrin, said he died with his wife at his bedside.

Rawls was admitted to hospital last month, but was still well enough to give an interview to the Arizona Republic newspaper.

"Don't count me out, brother," Rawls said.

"There's been many people who have been diagnosed with this kind of thing and they're still jumpin' and pumpin'."

Born in Chicago, Rawls grew up performing in a church choir, and was introduced to gospel music by his grandmother.

He moved to Los Angeles in the mid-1950s to join touring gospel group the Pilgrim Travellers.

After a two-year stint in the army, Rawls rejoined the group where he sang with Sam Cooke.

Lou Rawls
Rawls was famed for his distinctive, velvety voice

In 1959 he performed with Dick Clark at the Hollywood Bowl, and opened for The Beatles in Cincinnati during the 1960s.

Rawls was playing R&B clubs in Los Angeles when his four-octave range caught the ear of a Capitol Records producer, who signed him to the label in 1962.

His debut album Stormy Monday was one of 28 he went on to make with the label.

In 1966, his song Love Is a Hurtin' Thing topped the charts and earned Rawls his first two Grammy nominations.

He won three Grammys during his career and released his most recent album, Seasons 4 U, in 1998.

Rawls also appeared in a number of TV series and films, including Leaving Las Vegas and Blues Brothers 2000.

Rawls was diagnosed with lung cancer in December 2004 and brain cancer in May 2005.

He leaves four children - Louanna Rawls, Lou Rawls Jnr, Kendra Smith and Aiden Rawls.

There is some confusion surrounding Rawls' age. His family and publicist say the singer was 72, while other records indicate he was 70.

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