Join our brand new verified AMN Telegram channel and get important news uncensored!

‘What You Won’t Do for Love’ singer-songwriter Bobby Caldwell dead at 71

Singer Bobby Caldwell attends the Soul Train Awards 2013 at the Orleans Arena on Nov. 8, 2013, in Las Vegas. (Jason Kempin/Getty Images for BET/TNS)

“What You Won’t Do for Love” singer-songwriter Bobby Caldwell has died. He was 71.

A rep for the “Open Your Eyes” crooner told TMZ that Caldwell died Tuesday night at home in New Jersey after a yearslong illness.

Caldwell was diagnosed in 2017 with neuropathy, a nerve disorder, after having a bad reaction to an antibiotic. He had been unable to speak for several years.

“Bobby passed away here at home. I held him tight in my arms as he left us. I am forever heartbroken. Thanks to all of you for your many prayers over the years. He had been ‘FLOXED,’ it took his health over the last 6 years and 2 months. Rest with God, my Love,” Mary Caldwell, the singer’s wife, wrote on Twitter. The term “floxed” refers to a severe reaction to fluoroquinolone antibiotics.

Caldwell’s self-titled debut album went double platinum on the strength of “What You Won’t Do for Love,” which was a Billboard Top 10 hit in 1978. The song was covered widely by artists like Michael Bolton and Boyz II Men and even sampled by rapper Tupac Shakur (”Do for Love”), DJ Jazzy Jeff (“My Soul Ain’t for Sale”), Terrace Martin and Kendrick Lamar (“Triangle Ship”), Aaliyah (“Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number”) and others.

According to his website, Caldwell was born in Manhattan in 1951 but grew up in Miami. Both of his parents were also singers and hosted the variety show “Suppertime.”

He got his own start in showbiz playing rhythm guitar for Little Richard.

Early in his career, Caldwell was one of the only white artists on TK Records. In 2015, he recalled opening for Natalie Cole and surprising the audience with his blue-eyed soul.

“I walked out on stage and you could hear a pin drop, just a total hush came over the crowd,” he told Red Bull Music Academy. “It was like, ‘What the f— is this!?’ I stayed and delivered. After about 10 minutes, I had them in my pocket. That was the night I became a man, I’ll tell ya.”

He wrote songs for other singers as well, including Neil Diamond and Roberta Flack. Caldwell also penned Amy Grant and Peter Cetera’s No. 1 hit “The Next Time I Fall” in 1986.

“In the songwriter community, I eventually established myself as someone who could be a chameleon and tailor things for other people,” Caldwell told the Los Angeles Times in 1991. “I like doing that, but I don’t want to do it for the rest of my life because there is a part of me that loves to perform.”

Caldwell’s final album, “Cool Uncle,” was released in 2015.


© 2023 New York Daily News

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.