Watch CBS News

Bobby Caldwell, "What You Won't Do For Love" singer, dies at 71

Singer and songwriter Bobby Caldwell, the man behind the 1978 platinum hit "What You Won't Do For Love," has died at age 71, his wife Mary confirmed to CBS News on Wednesday.

She announced her husband's passing in a tweet from his official Twitter account, writing, "Bobby passed away here at home. I held him tight in my arms as he left us."

I am forever heartbroken," she continued. "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."

"Floxed" is a term that refers to the toxicity caused by continued use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics, which can lead to "disabling and potentially permanent side effects involving tendons, muscles, joints, nerves and the central nervous system," according to the Food and Drug Administration

It was not immediately clear which antibiotics Mary was referring to, and she did not offer further details related to Caldwell's health.

Caldwell grew up in a musical home where his parents hosted the musical variety show "Suppertime," and he began making music as a teen, heavily influenced by show tunes and artists such as Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett, and The Beatles, according to his website.

Bobby Caldwell
Photo of Bobby Caldwell Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images, circa 1970. Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

"What You Won't Do for Love," which reached No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the year of its release. It has been covered by Boys II Men, Natalie Cole and Michael Bolton, among others, in addition to being sampled by legendary rapper Tupac Shakur. 

Caldwell's song "Next Time I Fall," which was recorded by Peter Cetera and Amy Grant, reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1986 and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. 

Other of Caldwell's songs were sampled by Vanessa Williams, the Notorious B.I.G and Common.

Questlove, who collaborated with Common on the track "The Light," which sampled Caldwell's "Open Your Eyes," wrote a moving tribute to Caldwell on Instagram.

"Man such a missed opportunity to meet a legend." he wrote. "Thank you for your voice and gift."

Combined, Caldwell's songs have contributed to more than 40 million record sales, according to his website.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.