The legendary "Mustang Sally" singer succumbs to a heart attack

By People Staff
Updated January 19, 2006 05:00 PM

Legendary soul singer Wilson Pickett died Thursday at age 64, his agent confirmed to the Associated Press.

The “Mustang Sally” and “In the Midnight Hour” singer suffered a heart attack at a hospital near his home in Virginia. Chris Tuthill, a spokesman for the singer’s management company Talent Source, said Pickett had been suffering from health problems for the past year.

“I loved him and I’m sure he was well-loved, and I just hope that he’s given his props,” the singer’s son, Michael Wilson Pickett, told WRC-TV in Washington, the AP reports.

Pickett – known as “Wicked Pickett” for his unique singing style and high energy on and off stage – was a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and was considered influential in the development of R&B.

Both “Mustang Sally” and “In the Midnight Hour” were included in a Rolling Stone list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

The Alabama-born performer got his start singing gospel music in church. After moving to Detroit as a teenager, he joined the group the Falcons, which had a hit, I Found Love, in 1962. Two years later, Pickett was signed to Atlantic Records, and recorded many of his early songs at the famed Stax studio in Memphis, Tenn.

He was most recently featured in the 2004 soul music documentary Only the Strong Survive.