Singer/songwriter Jennifer Warnes has penned an essay tribute to her one-time duet partner Joe Cocker, who died earlier this week (22Dec14).
The Up Where We Belong singer reveals she grew up worshipping gravel-voiced Cocker and had a photo of him performing at Woodstock on her wall at home.
She writes, "The picture of Joe frightened my mother, but I reassured her. 'No mom, he's an emotional visionary'."
In the statement, obtained by Billboard.com, she adds, "I didn’t know then, but I know now, that if you wish for something with your whole heart, it has a pretty good chance of coming true.
"In the early 80s, other than a few great pairs such as Ella and Louis, Loretta and Conway, duets were not common on the charts. Music that year was weighted down with synthesizers and rhinestone jumpsuits.
"I was home watching one of those less than wonderful Grammy telecasts when Joe appeared singing I'm So Glad I’m Standing Here Today with the Crusaders. His voice was like a knife cutting through me. He laid his heart right on the table. I also knew right then that we would sing together."
Her premonition came true when she was chosen to join Cocker on the song Up Where We Belong for the 1982 soundtrack to An Officer & a Gentleman.
He adds, "That beautiful song by Will Jennings, Buffy Sainte-Marie and Jack Nitzsche fell into our hands. The movie wanted us. Things just fell together. I agree that the pairing of a rough Sheffield blues guy with a folkie-pop girl seemed odd. To make it worse they dressed me in taffeta, Joe in a suit, it was crazy. We looked like two prom kids.
"In 1983 we toured the big wide world and never lip-synced once. That was our rule, no lip-syncing. Every performance was the real deal, a free falling skydive. Geronimo! Joe took his liberties with the song and I chased after. Singing with Joe was often risky and always thrilling. Those are great memories that I will keep in my heart."
Warnes admits she felt "sick" when she heard Cocker had lost his battle with lung cancer.
She adds, "With a new dread, I realized yesterday that we will never sing our song again. That thought makes me feel sick. We met last year in Berlin to sing together. I didn't know that would be our last time.
"Joe won my heart completely when I first saw the movie Woodstock. He won millions of hearts with that film. But it was a young girl's dream come true to later become Joe’s singing partner. I will always love him and always miss him."
The pair's chart-topping duet won an Oscar, a Golden Globe and netted Warnes and Cocker a Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal Grammy.