Yesterday, the 22nd of January, 2011 would have marked the iconic soul singer Sam Cooke’s 80th birthday.

The singer - a personal favourite of mine - changed the face of music. After achieving considerable success on the Chitlin’ Circuit touring with gospel group The Soul Stirrers in the 1950s, Cooke decided to break from religious music and record a secular pop song.

In order not to be shunned from his lucrative career as a gospel singer he released his first single ‘Loveable’ under the name Dale Cooke in 1956 but when the gospel community recognised his voice he decided to shun them and try to make it as a pop singer.