Composer Burt Bacharach, known for hits like ‘I Say a Little Prayer,’ dead at 94

LOS ANGELES — Legendary composer Burt Bacharach, known for a range of melodies, died at age 94.

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Bacharach, credited for “Walk on By,” “Do You Know The Way to San Jose,” “I Say a Little Prayer” and “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” among other hits died at his Los Angeles home on Wednesday, his publicist Tina Brausam told The Associated Press. Brausam said the composer died of natural causes.

Burt Bacharach was born on May 12, 1928, in Kansas City, Missouri, before moving to New York City where he grew up, according to His mother, an artist/songwriter, encouraged her son to study music at the Mannes School of Music and McGill University. After leaving the U.S. Army he became a songwriter in the 1950s.

Over his 70-year career, Bacharach’s music was frequently performed by Dionne Warwick, his favorite interpreter, the AP reported. However, Bacharach also created material for Aretha Franklin, Dusty Springfield, Tom Jones and others, while Elvis Presley, the Beatles and Frank Sinatra are among the artists who famously performed covers of his songs.

From 1962 to 1968, Dionne Warwick took 15 of Bacharach’s songs to the Billboard Top 40, including “Don’t Make Me Over,” and “I Say a Little Prayer,” according to

“The shorthand version of him is that he’s something to do with easy listening,” Elvis Costello told the AP in a 2018 interview. “It may be agreeable to listen to these songs, but there’s nothing easy about them. Try playing them. Try singing them.”

Bacharach took center stage and appeared as himself in the 1997 movie “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery,” where he performed his 1965 song, “What the World Needs Now is Love,” The New York Times reported. He also made cameo appearances in two of the movie franchise’s sequels.

Bacharach won eight Grammy awards, a Tony for “Promises, Promises” and three Academy Awards, the AP reported. Bacharach won the Academy Awards in 1970, for the score of “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and for the song “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head.” He was presented the Gershwin Prize in 2012 by then-President Barack Obama.

In his autobiography, Bacharach described himself as “luckier than most” in his career as a songwriter, The New York Times reported.

“Most composers sit in a room by themselves and nobody knows what they look like,” he wrote. “People may have heard some of their songs, but they never get to see them onstage or on television. I get to make a direct connection with people.”

Bacharach is survived by his fourth wife, Jane Hansen, as well as his children Oliver, Raleigh and Christopher, the AP reported.

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