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‘Like losing a family member’: Dionne Warwick on Burt Bacharach’s passing

Dionne Warwick and Burt Bacharach
Dionne Warwick and Burt Bacharach

The legendary composer Burt Bacharach, who wrote the music for countless hits, died on Wednesday, February 8 at his home in Los Angeles. He was 94.

Composer of hundreds of songs that were covered by more than 1,000 artists, Bacharach worked with lyricist Hal David throughout the ‘60s and the two would find critical and popular success writing songs for Dionne Warwick. Earlier this year in an interview with WBGO’s Pat Prescott, the vocalist, who was recently profiled in the documentary Don't Make Me Over, talked about their unique relationship. “We became friends,” Warwick said. “The industry dubbed us the triangle marriage that worked. I feel that I was so privileged to work with two of the most prolific songwriters and composers of our time, and to be able to sing such incredible words that Hal David wrote and the very difficult sometimes music that Bacharach composed.”

Warwick told Prescott that the music they did together was unique for its time. “We were so different from anything that was happening during the period of time that I started recording in the ‘60s, with little groups,” she explained. “Those single recording artists were not singing anything near what I was singing. I think that truly is the reason that all those songs that I sang from the ‘60s to this very day are still as prolific today as they were then.”

Today Warwick released this statement about Bacharach, her friend and collaborator:
“Burt’s transition is like losing a family member. These words I’ve been asked to write are being written with sadness over the loss of my dear friend and my musical partner. On the lighter side we laughed a lot and had our run ins, but always found a way to let each other know our family, like roots, were the most important part of our relationship. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family, letting them know he is now peacefully resting and I too will miss him.” – Dionne Warwick