Sam Cooke (January 22, 1931 – December 11, 1964) was an American gospel, R&B, soul, and pop singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur. He is considered to be one of the pioneers and founders of soul music. Cooke had 29 Top 40 hits in the U.S. between 1957 and 1965. Major hits like “You Send Me“, “A Change Is Gonna Come“, “Chain Gang“, “Wonderful World” and “Bring It on Home to Me” are some of his most popular songs. Cooke was also among the first modern black performers and composers to attend to the business side of his musical career. He founded both a record label and a publishing company as an extension of his careers as a singer and composer. He also took an active part in the American Civil Rights Movement.

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