Legendary musician Otis Redding III has sadly died aged 59.
The renowned singer and guitarist who followed in the footsteps of his iconic father, has passed away after a courageous battle with cancer, as confirmed by his grieving family on Wednesday.
At the tender age of three, Redding faced an immense loss when his father, Otis Redding, tragically perished in a plane crash on December 10, 1967, along with several band members.
Despite this early setback, Redding’s passion for music only grew stronger over the years.
In the 1980s, Redding and his brother, Dexter, joined forces to form the funk band The Reddings, which went on to record six albums.
However, it was not until later in his career that Redding’s talents truly came into the spotlight.
Redding’s musical journey took an exciting turn when he was hired as a guitarist for soul singer Eddie Floyd’s European tour. Under Floyd’s guidance, Redding gained confidence in performing his father’s famous songs, such as “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay,” despite initially feeling hesitant about singing. Reflecting on the experience in a 2018 interview, Redding shared, “He said, ‘You can play guitar with me, but you’re going to have to sing a few of your dad’s songs.’ I was like, ‘Huh? I don’t sing,’ you know. And he was like, ‘Well, you’re going to sing Dock of the Bay with me tonight.’”
Redding’s talent and dedication to music extended beyond his own performances. He worked closely with his family’s foundation to organize summer camps that taught children how to play music, and he served as the board president for the local chapter of Meals on Wheels. According to his website, Redding continued to share his father’s music with audiences of all sizes, from performing at Carnegie Hall for a 2018 Otis Redding tribute concert to serenading guests at weddings and private parties.
Despite the weight of his father’s legendary legacy, Redding remained grateful for the enduring impact of his father’s music, even though it sometimes overshadowed his own creative efforts. “No matter how hard I try to do my own thing, you know, it’s like, ‘Sing one of your daddy’s songs’,” Redding candidly revealed in the Maine TV station interview. “So I go ahead and do what people want, and I live with it. But I’m not under any pressure and I don’t put myself mentally under any pressure to go begging for record deals.”
Otis Redding, often referred to as “the King of Soul,” is widely recognized as one of the greatest singers in American popular music. His legacy as a soul music icon lives on, and his contributions to the world of music continue to inspire countless artists and fans alike.
The loss of Otis Redding III is a poignant reminder of the fleeting nature of life, and his passing has left a profound void in the music world. His talent, dedication, and unwavering passion for music will be remembered fondly by those who were fortunate enough to witness his performances and be touched by his artistry. As we mourn the loss of this gifted musician, let us also celebrate his enduring legacy and the indelible mark he has left on the world of music.