10 Popular Celebrities who Battled Mesothelioma

On: January 9, 2020
In: Health
By: Abhishek Dey

9. Joe Sample, Musician (1939-2014)

Joe Sample was a musical prodigy, starting to play the piano as a 5-year-old. He went on to have an accomplished career as a pianist and composer. One of the founding members of The Crusaders, the Houston native performed with such legendary performers and groups as Miles Davis, George Benson, Jimmy Witherspoon, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Steely Dan, and the Supremes from the bebop band that started when he was in high school.

Sample died of mesothelioma in 2014 at the age of 75, though it is not known how he contracted the asbestos-related disease. Sample was known for pushing the boundaries of jazz music by combining it with a distinct blues and soul sound.

After The Crusaders disbanded, Sample went solo and recorded “Ashes to Ashes,” a personal album that focused on the struggles of blacks at the time and their efforts to save their communities. Nicole Kidman covered his song, “One Day I’ll Fly Away,” in the Oscar-winning film “Moulin Rouge.”