by Leah Greenblatt
Image Credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Phoebe Snow, the distinctively voiced singer-songwriter who penned the ’70s radio staple “Poetry Man” and toured with the likes of Jackson Browne, Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen, and Paul Simon (she appeared on his hit “Gone at Last”), has passed away following complications from a 2010 brain hemorrhage. She was 60.
Snow’s self-titled 1974 debut was almost instantly successful, spawning the top-5 hit “Poetry Man” and earning her a 1975 Grammy nod for Best New Artist (she lost to Marvin Hamlisch). Many collaborations and several smaller successes followed, though Snow’s career was ultimately sidelined by the care required for her daughter, Valerie, born severely brain-injured in December 1975.
“Occasionally I put an album out, but I didn’t like to tour, and [the albums] didn’t get a lot of label support,” she told the San Francisco Chronicle in 2008, according to abcnews.com. “But you know what? It didn’t really matter because I got to stay home more with Valerie, and that time was precious.”
Younger audiences may know her bluesy croon best from commercial jingles—she sang the theme song for the Cosby spinoff A Different World, as well as “Celebrate the Moments of Your Life” for General Foods International Coffees, and was featured in ads for Michelob, AT&T, and Hallmark. She also appeared frequently on Howard Stern, and performed at Stern’s wedding in 2008.
Watch her below, duetting with Linda Ronstadt on Saturday Night Live in 1979: