Hours before the Grammy Awards ceremony, the biggest night in the music industry in the United States, word came of the death of well-known jazz and rhythm and blues singer Al Jarreau.
Winner of seven Grammys himself, Jarreau died at age 76 Sunday in a hospital in Los Angeles, the city where the Grammys are held each year. No cause of death was given.
He was hospitalized for exhaustion last week, and while he had been “recovering slowly and steadily” according to a Friday post on his Facebook page, he had been forced to cancel his remaining tour dates for 2017.
The multi-talented Jarreau achieved a rarity, winning Grammys in three different categories: jazz, pop and rhythm and blues. He released 16 studio albums, a host of live albums and several compilations. He was considered one of jazz’s greatest vocalists. Jarreau’s hits included “We’re in This Love Together,” “After All,” and “Moonlighting.”
“Moonlighting” was the theme he wrote for the late 1980s American television show with the same title, and it cemented his place in pop culture.
As for Sunday night’s 59th Grammys, the battle for the top awards was expected to be between two of the most successful women in pop — Beyoncé and Adele. They go head-to head in each of the top three categories — album, record and song of the year.
Challenging the two for album of the year are Justin Bieber, Drake and Sturgill Simpson.
Another category always closely followed is best new artist. A hit-making production duo, the Chainsmokers, is up against two young country singers, Kelsea Ballerini and Maren Morris, and two rappers, Anderson .Paak and Chance the Rapper.
Eighty-four Grammys will be handed out by the time the night is over, much of it televised live around the world.