Legendary musician Bobby Caldwell, responsible for the hit song What You Won’t Do For Love, has passed away at the age of 71 following a long illness.
Caldwell’s “heartbroken” wife, Mary, broke the news of his passing on Tuesday, March 14 in a statement to social media.
“Bobby passed away here at home. I held him tight in my arms as he left us. I am forever heartbroken. Thanks to all of you for your many prayers over the years. He had been “FLOXED,” it took his health over the last 6 years and 2 months. Rest with God, my Love,” she wrote.
Born August 15, 1951, Caldwell got his first career break in the early 1970s as a rhythm guitarist for Little Richard.
After several attempts at securing a record deal, Caldwell eventually signed with TK Records in Miami in 1978 where he wrote his major hit What You Won’t Do for Love. The song was so popular that it was covered and remade by several artists years after its initial release.
After fellow singer Boz Scaggs suggested Caldwell write songs for other musicians following the closure of TK Records’, Caldwell went on to write hit songs for artists such as Amy Grant, Neil Diamond, and Natalie Cole.
For his 1996 album Blue Condition, Caldwell tried his hand at big band arrangements with a focus on songs performed by legendary crooner Frank Sinatra.
Caldwell went on to portray Sinatra in tribute performances to the Rat Pack in Las Vegas and in his later year collaborated with record producer Jack Splash on the album Cool Uncle in 2015.
Following the announcement of Caldwell’s passing, music fans from near and far took to social media to pay tribute and recall some of their favourite performances.
Today we lost Bobby Caldwell, one of the OG members of blue-eyed soul. He captivated us with his classic 1978 hit, “What You Won’t Do For Love” and we’ve loved him ever since.
RIP Legend ♥️????️ pic.twitter.com/pbLZVsIe33
— brownsugarplaylist (@BSP_tweets) March 15, 2023
RIP to the Legend Bobby Caldwell
Here he is performing at the 2013 Soul Train Awards❤️????️ pic.twitter.com/DZL0Xlhlcm
— LOCAL BLACK GIRL FOR HIRE (@IamNiaRae) March 15, 2023
I’m so sad to hear this???? His music was top-tier and What You Won’t Do For Love was one of my all time favorite songs…
Rest In Peace Bobby Caldwell ????????????????pic.twitter.com/mFvbgacyK8
— Holly Robinson Peete ????????♍️ (@hollyrpeete) March 15, 2023
Remembering singer, songwriter and musician Bobby Caldwell (August 15, 1951 – March 15, 2023). Condolence and prayers go out to his family and loved ones. I will forever remember his gentle spirit, when meeting him at the Berks Jazz Fest. Rest in peace, love, and music Bobby. pic.twitter.com/7k6QcPQHIr
— ♪ Sunshine Brown ♪ (@_MusicalOne_) March 15, 2023
Caldwell is survived by his wife and two daughters.