This Happened—December 10: Death Of Otis Redding, A Star's Life Cut Short
Updated Dec. 10, 2023 at 12:05 p.m.
Considered one of the greatest singers in the history of American popular music and a seminal artist in soul music and rhythm and blues, Otis Redding, nicknamed the King of Soul, had a profound influence on other artists before his life was cut tragically short in a plane crash.
How did Otis Redding die?
By 1967, the band was traveling to performances by airplane. On December 9, although the weather was poor, with heavy rain and fog, and despite warnings, his plane took off, heading to Madison, Wisconsin, where the band’s next performance was set to take place. Shortly after the pilot radioed for emergency landing, the plane crashed into Lake Monona, killing all band members and those on board except for one.
What was Otis Redding's legacy?
Still considered the greatest singer in his genre of soul and rhythm and blues, his loss was greatly felt across popular music, and across the world. "Redding was a marvel," wrote rock critic Dave Marsh, "one of the great live showmen ... a masterful ballad singer and a true rocker in the spirit of his boyhood hero, Little Richard."