Sam Cooke was an American songwriter and singer who became an influential Black singer in the 1950s due to his clear vocalisms and sophisticated image. Starting with gospel music in his early years, he became a lead vocalist in a gospel music group and was discovered through the song "Jesus Gave Me Water." As a gospel star, he was offered the opportunity to sing in the popular mass market, and with the hit "You Send Me," the soul and rhythm and blues populations turned to him. Deemed the King of Soul, Cooke became a phenomenal pop stylist as well as the first Black capitalists who owned his own record label, publication company and management firm. His stylistic musical fusions were an example of his ability to bring together different worlds of music into harmonious pop music. He was also able to unite white and black audiences through the sounds of his music. Cooke died in tragic circumstances in a Los Angeles motel before some of his more socially-minded material could catch on. The world will never know what took place to cause his death, but his life spoke very well for him. Sam Cooke's rise in gospel, rhythm and blues, and soul made him a pop star who was most influential to his public; Cooke always respected his public and lived his life meaningfully.
Cooke lived his life well. The Reverend Sun Myung Moon also speaks about living one's life well. "What is the meaning of living life well? It means that you should live a representative daily life meaningfully…. If you live your life well, you can have a most valuable daily life throughout the life course" (See: "The Life for the Sake of the Eternal Life," "The Way of the Eternal Life," "The Existence of Human Beings on Earth and in the Spirit World," The Completed Testament Age and the Ideal Kingdom. NY: Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, 1999. ISBN 191021977).