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Grammy-Winning Singer-Songwriter JJ Cale Dead at 74

Jane Richey/JJCale.comSinger-songwriter JJ Cale died on Friday at a hospital in La Jolla, California, after suffering a heart attack, according to a statement on his website. He was 74. 

Cale was never widely known as a solo artist, though he was revered by his musical peers.  However, he scored lasting hits when his songs were recorded by other artists, most notably Eric Clapton, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Johnny Cash and The Allman Brothers, among others.

Cale's songs "After Midnight" and "Cocaine" became huge hits for Clapton, with whom he earned a Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album for his 2006 album, The Road to Escondido,.  Cale's anthem "Call Me the Breeze" was famously recorded in 1974 by Skynyrd on the album Second Helping.

Clapton wrote on his Facebook page, "We've lost a great artist and a great person."

Neil Portnow, the president and CEO of The Recording Academy, said of Cale in a statement, "He was an exceptional talent whose remarkable career influenced musicians across the industry.  We are saddened by his loss, and our sympathies go out to his family, friends and all who were inspired by his music."

Other artists that recorded Cale's songs include Chet Atkins and Jerry Garcia, who also recorded "After Midnight"; Tom Petty, who recorded "I'd Like to Love You, Baby"; Carlos Santana, who recorded "The Sensitive Kind"; Cissy Houston, who recorded "Cajun Moon"; and Captain Beefheart and Bobby "Blue" Bland, who recorded "I Got the Same Old Blues."

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