Joe Cocker put everything into his music, including his entire body.
The raspy-voiced British soul singer, who died Tuesday at age 70, had an onstage style so immersive that he literally twitched with emotion. While contorting in front of the microphone, he would get sweaty and disheveled, and could be a little intimidating to the uninitiated.
But Cocker's enormous voice and talent — over a career that kicked off in the 1960s and led to his being considered one of Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Singers of All Time — gave him loads of leeway with audiences. He was music when he sang, and he never let you forget it.
Here are seven other things about Cocker well worth remembering:
1. He remade (and improved) a Beatles tune
Yes, yes, The Beatles were iconic. But when Cocker took the band's "With a Little Help from My Friends" and imbued it with an aching rawness the nice mop tops hadn't, he transformed the tune, immortalizing his version at Woodstock in 1969. It returned in 1988 as the theme song to the TV series "The Wonder Years." He "totally turned the song into a soul anthem," said the song's writer Paul McCartney Monday. "I was forever grateful to him for doing that."
2. He had the greatest band names
Though most modern listeners know Cocker for his solo work, he also fronted bands with names like Mad Dogs & Englishmen (a riff on a Noel Coward song) and The Grease Band.
3. He proved tough could be tender
With his remake of Billy Preston's "You Are So Beautiful" in 1975, Cocker's gruff tone put a masculine delicacy into the tone of adoration and yearning; at one point, his voice cracked ever so slightly ... but he pulled it back like a master.
4. He could take a joke
John Belushi had been "doing" Cocker onstage even before he became a Not Ready for Prime Time Player on "Saturday Night Live," and three episodes into the sketch series, he was able to show off his take on the singer's specialized stage style. Then, in 1976, he did his impression alongside the original as the pair performed "Feelin' Alright."
5. He knew how to reinvent himself
Many musicians don't have much new to offer after over 20 years in the business, but that's when Cocker hit No. 1 with his duet with Jennifer Warnes in 1982: "Up Where We Belong," a song from the "An Officer and a Gentleman" soundtrack. (It also was memorably used in a 1990 episode of "The Simpsons.") The song went on to win an Oscar; it earned Cocker a Grammy. Other songs of his went on to appear on soundtracks from movies like "9 1/2 Weeks" and "The Bodyguard."
6. He's not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
In September, Billy Joel noted during a show at Madison Square Garden that Cocker was ailing, and urged his induction into the Hall of Fame. He wasn't on the list of 2015 inductees that came out in December, but we expect that will change in the coming years.
7. He and his talent will be missed
By so many people, from family to fans. Some big names took to Twitter Monday night to express their condolences; here are some of those well wishes, sent with a little help from his friends: