"Wilson Pickett" (March 18, 1941 – January 19, 2006) was an American R&B and soul singer. Known for his raw, passionate delivery, he was a major figure in the development of Southern soul music.
Pickett was born in Prattville, Alabama, and grew up singing in Baptist church choirs.
He was the youngest of 11 children and called his mother "the baddest woman in my book", telling historian Gerri Hirshey: "I get scared of her now. She used to hit me with anything, skillets, stove wood — (one time I ran away and) cried for a week. Stayed in the woods, me and my little dog." Pickett eventually left to live with his father in Detroit in 1955.
In Detroit, he formed a gospel music group called the Violinaires. The group accompanied Sam Cooke, The Soul Stirrers, The Swan Silvertones, and The Davis Sisters on church tours across the country. Meanwhile, Pickett's family was struggling to make ends meet, and when Sam Cooke and Aretha Franklin began singing secular music (which was then and remains a more lucrative direction), Pickett was persuaded to do the same.
Pickett's first major break came when he was invited to join The Falcons in early 1959. One of t...
|date of birth||March 18, 1941|
|place of birth||Prattville, Alabama|
|date of death||January 19, 2006|
|place of death||Ashburn, Virginia|