Joe Sample, a founding member of The Crusaders who wrote chart hits such as Street Life and One Day I'll Fly Away sung by Randy Crawford, has died at 75.
Sample's manager, Patrick Rains, told the AP press agency that Sample died of complications due to lung cancer at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.In a message on his Facebook page, his wife Yolanda and son Niklas thanked fans and friends for their support. Sample's songs were also sampled by hip hop stars including Tupac Shakur. The late rapper used Sample's In All My Wildest Dreams on his track Dear Mama.
Sample, a Texan, was a founding member of the Jazz Crusaders, which later became known simply as The Crusaders. Rains described Sample as "a seminal figure in the transition from acoustic to electronic music in the jazz field in the late 60s and early 70s". The jazz funk fusion band was the first instrumental band to open for the Rolling Stones on tour. The group had 19 albums which made it into the US Billboard top 200.
The Crusaders disbanded in the 1990s, enabling Sample to pursue a solo career, which included further collaborations with Crawford. Hollywood actress Nicole Kidman also sang One Day I'll Fly Away in Baz Luhrmann's 2001 film Moulin Rouge. Sample's final album, Live, which featured Crawford and his son on bass, was released in 2012. (Francisco Martins\Marcelo Contreras).