Legendary American composer Burt Bacharach dies aged 94

The songwriter was known for hundreds of hits including What The World Needs Now, Walk On By, and Anyone Who Had a Heart.

Burt Bacharach, whose orchestral pop style was behind hits like I Say A Little Prayer, has died aged 94.

The legendary composer was known for hundreds of hit songs including What The World Needs Now, Walk On By, and Anyone Who Had a Heart.

The cause of death, which happened at home in Los Angeles, was natural causes, his publicist Tina Brausam said on Thursday.

Bacharach was born in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1928. His mother wrote songs and was responsible for him learning the piano as a child.

He went on to study music at university before being drafted into the US military in 1950. During his service he arranged music for dance bands.

After leaving the Army, he found work as a pianist and conductor.

At 28, he was recommended to actor and singer Marlene Dietrich who needed someone to arrange the music for her nightclub shows.

He went on to tour internationally with her in what would be his big break.

Bacharach had a career breakthrough The Story of My Life, written with lyricist Hal David, reached number one on the US Country Chart.

Soon after, Magic Moments, recorded by Perry Como, would become a number one hit in the UK.

The UK version of The Story of My Life would also become a UK number one making Bacharach and David the first songwriters to have written consecutive top place singles.

In 1961, Bacharach discovered singer Dionne Warwick for whom he would go on to write 22 top 40 hits.

They included Walk on By, Anyone Who Had a Heart, Alfie, I Say a Little Prayer, I’ll Never Fall in Love Again, and Do You Know the Way to San Jose?

He composed and arranged the soundtrack of the 1967 James Bond parody Casino Royale, which included The Look of Love performed by Dusty Springfield.

In 1969, he won an Oscar with David for Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head, written for the Paul Newman and Robert Redford classic Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

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