US soul singer Howard Tate dies

US soul singer Howard Tate dies

NEW YORK - Agence France-Presse
US soul singer Howard Tate dies

Howard Tate. AP photo

Acclaimed US soul singer Howard Tate, who worked with the likes of Aretha Franklin before falling into drug-taking and then staging a faith-inspired comeback, has died at age 72, officials said.

Tate, who recorded “Get it While You Can” before it became a massive hit for Janis Joplin, died of natural causes in Burlington, New Jersey, the local medical examiner told the Star-Ledger newspaper.

He attributed his professional rebirth to having found God late in life, producing his 2003 record “Rediscovered” -- which was nominated for a Grammy for best contemporary blues album.

Known for his piercing tenor voice, Tate had three top 20 hits including “Get it While You Can” written by his longtime producer Jerry Ragovoy and made more famous by Janis Joplin, the Star-Ledger reported.

He toured with acts including Franklin, the Queen of Soul, and Jackie Wilson. But the death of his 13-year-old daughter in 1976 triggered depression and a downward spiral of drug addiction and homelessness.

After almost giving up, Tate found God in 1991, and gradually put his life back together, becoming a Baptist minister and resuming his music career over the last decade.

“I really thought my family was going to find me somewhere in the alley, dead,” he told The Star-Ledger in 2003. “I had guns drawn on me, my drugs taken from me. .. But the Lord brought me from all of that.”

Three years after “Rediscovered” Tate release the album “A Portrait of Howard,” which included covers of songs by Lou Reed and Randy Newman, according to music website and chart publisher Billboard.

Tate died on Dec. 2 of complications from multiple myeloma and leukemia, Rolling Stone reported.