The "King of Soul" may have only had a short life, but he had a huge impact on the music industry, especially soul. He was born in 1931 in Clarksdale, Mississippi, and along with his seven siblings, performed in The Singing Children choir. After singing with the Highway QC's and graduating high school, he sung in the Soul Stirrers. From there on, he and his group performed and after he released his first single, Lovable, he received quite a bit of attention. He released thirteen studio albums between the years 1958 and 1964. On December 11, 1964, Bertha Franklin, the hotel manager of the Hacienda Motel, where Cooke was staying, shot him fatefully in the heart. Apparently, Cooke tried to assault Franklin, which resulted in the shooting and the motel owner, Evelyn Carr, to call the police. Since Cooke died on the scene, his side of the story was never told. Since the stories of Carr, Franklin and other witnesses do not quite match up, investigators are still not exactly sure what happened. Posthumously, he was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.
Have a listen:
P.S. I recommend "Having a Party", "Twistin' the Night Away", "You Send Me" and "Cupid" as well...