15 Black Artists Who Died Too Young

Sam-Cooke-620×480

SAM COOKE, 33:  Often referred to as the King of Soul, Cooke helped popularize the genre and paved the way for many legendary vocalists. With over two dozen top 40 hits in his catalog, Cooke was also one of the first African American artists-turned-entrepreneur in music, founding his own record label and publishing company. Despite his trailblazing accomplishments, Cooke died under controversial circumstances as he was fatally shot by a motel manager who alleged that he attacked her. He was 33 at the time.

SAM COOKE, 33: Often referred to as the King of Soul, Cooke helped popularize…

(Image: Getty)