John Martyn Respected British Singer-Songwriter Dies


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John Martyn, 60, a British singer-songwriter whose soulful songs were covered by Eric Clapton and others, died Thursday, according to a statement on Martyn’s official website. It did not give a cause of death for the musician, who lived in Ireland.

A skilled guitarist and earthy vocalist influenced by folk, blues and jazz, Martyn performed with -- and was admired by -- musicians including Clapton, Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, and Phil Collins.

Martyn was born Iain David McGeachy near London in 1948 and grew up in Glasgow, Scotland.

He took up the guitar in his teens, moved to London and released a series of enduring albums, including “The Road to Ruin" and “Solid Air,” regarded by some critics as one of the best British albums of the 1970s.

Martyn never became a household name, but his songs were praised by critics and highly regarded by other musicians. One of the best known, “May You Never,” was recorded by Clapton, for his “Slowhand" album, and other artists.

Martyn, who acknowledged that alcohol and drugs had sometimes gotten him into trouble, had health problems in recent years. In 2003, one of his legs was amputated below the knee because of a burst cyst.

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