One of my absolute favorite singers of all time (I know I say that about everybody) Was the amazing Jackie Wilson. I have to great fortuen to have seen him play the supper club at the Hyatt Regent Hotel in Dearborn MI in the late 1970's. Man oh man what a performer!

He smoked onstage which was kind of different, but didn't seem to inhibit him at the time. But the smoking and drinking may have lead to his untimely death at such a young age.

Of course being shot by angry girlfriend may have contributed to his death as well. Wow what story. My favorite of his many hits is "Lonely Teardrops"

From Wiki:
Jack Leroy "Jackie" Wilson, Jr. (June 9, 1934 – January 21, 1984) was the most marvelous high energy American singer. Wilson was important in the transition of rhythm and blues into soul. Gaining fame in his early years as a member of the R&B vocal group, The Dominoes, after going solo in 1957 he went on to record over fifty hit singles over a repertoire that included R&B, pop, soul, doo-wop and easy listening before lapsing into a coma following a collapse on stage during a 1975 benefit concert. By the time of his death in 1984, he had become one of the most influential soul artists of his generation.

Wilson was shot and wounded by one of his alleged lovers, Juanita Jones, on February 15, 1961. Allegedly, Jones shot Wilson in a jealous rage when he returned to his apartment with another woman, fashion model Harlean Harris, an ex-girlfriend of Sam Cooke. In order to protect his reputation, Wilson's management concocted a story that Jones was an obsessed fan who threatened to shoot herself, and that Wilson's intervention concluded in his being shot. The story was accepted, and no charges were brought against Jones.

Freda Hood, Jackie's first wife with whom he had four children, divorced him in 1965 after fourteen years of marriage. He married Harris in 1967, but split up soon after. Jackie later met and lived with Lynn Crochet, and they had two children. He was with Lynn up until his heart attack and on-stage accident in 1975. However, as he and Harris never officially divorced, Harris took the role of Wilson's caretaker for the singer's remaining nine years.

Wilson suffered a massive heart attack while playing a Dick Clark show at the Latin Casino in Cherry Hill, New Jersey on September 29, 1975, falling head-first to the stage while singing the line from his hit "Lonely Teardrops", ("My Heart is Crying").

The blow to the head Wilson suffered left him comatose. For the next eight years and four months, he was in a vegetative state until his death at age 49. Al Green and Elvis Presley were some of the few artists who regularly visited the bed-ridden Wilson. When he found out that Jackie was broke, Dick Clark paid all of Jackie's medical bills up to the day he died.

According to the 2005 biography, Jackie Wilson: Lonely Teardrops he received a well-publicized funeral attended by approximately 1,500 relatives, friends and fans. He is interred in the Westlawn Cemetery in Wayne, Michigan.


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