LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Joe Cocker, the British singer who had numerous hits in the 1970s and '80s including a barrel-throated rendition of "With a Little Help From My Friends," has died, according to BBC News. He was 70.
Cocker died of an undisclosed illness, his agent Barrie Marshall, told BBC News.
Cocker was known for his raspy-bluesy style and the physical effort he put into performing -- a style famously spoofed on "Saturday Night Live" by John Belushi.
Cocker scored a No. 1 hit in 1982 with "Up Where We Belong," a duet with Jennifer Warnes that was featured as the theme song to the film "An Officer and a Gentleman."
A native of Sheffield, Cocker got his start singing in local pubs before he made his mark as an artist with the gospel-flavored rendition of the Beatles' "With a Little Help From My Friends." He teamed with producer Leon Russell in 1970 for a massive U.S. tour with a huge on-stage ensemble that yielded the successful double album "Mad Dogs and Englishmen."