How do you honour a Sheffield legend like Joe Cocker?
That is the question being put to the public today after the musical icon – Sheffield’s first global superstar – died just before Christmas at the age of 70.
His death, from lung cancer, rocked the country with many paying tribute to the ‘simply unique’ former gas fitter from Crookes.
Now thoughts are turning to how the rocker can be remembered with a special kind of tribute. One reader has already pledged £500 to the cause and The Star has teamed up with Sheffield Council to look at the different possibilities.
Residents can already admire Joe’s star on the Walk of Fame outside the Town Hall but one new idea has been to instal a blue plaque as part of the English Heritage scheme.
Council leader Julie Dore said: “Joe Cocker and his music appealed to such a wide range of people. It would be worth looking at what we can do to celebrate his life.”
Cocker was born in Sheffield in 1944 and by 1961 was living a double life, working as a gas fitter by day and transforming himself into a club singer at night.
He had hits with The Beatles’ song With A Little Help From My Friends and later, in a duet with Jennifer Warnes, Up Where We Belong. In 2007 he was installed into the city’s Hall of Fame and in the same year he was awarded on OBE.
He had lived in America for many years and died at home in Colorado.
It is hoped the project to remember Joe could follow in the footsteps of the successful appeal to honour the women of steel who kept Sheffield’s munitions factories going in two world wars. Star readers got behind the drive, raising almost £170,000, and now a statue in tribute is to be unveiled outside Sheffield City Hall in the summer of 2016.
* Send your ideas on how Joe Cocker should be remembered to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0114 276 7676.