Earlier today (February 9), it was revealed that yesterday, music legend Burt Bacharach died at 94 years old. Bacharach was a premiere songwriter for decades, and one of his most celebrated professional relationships with with Dionne Warwick. Bacharach and songwriting partner Hal David penned a lot of songs for Warwick, including all of her early-career top-10 hits in the 1960s: “Anyone Who Had A Heart,” “Walk On By,” “Message To Michael,” “I Say A Little Prayer,” “This Guy’s In Love With You,” and “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again.”
Now, Warwick has addressed her collaborator’s death. She said in a statement shared with the Los Angeles Times today:
“Burt’s transition is like losing a family member. These words I’ve been asked to write are being written with sadness over the loss of my Dear Friend and my Musical Partner. […] On the lighter side, we laughed a lot and had our run-ins, but always found a way to let each other know our family-like roots were the most important part of our relationship. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family, letting them know he is now peacefully resting and I too will miss him.”
In a 2022 interview with Vulture, Warwick spoke about her creative partnership with Bacharach and David:
“I had come in to do a background session of ‘Mexican Divorce,’ a song for the Drifters that Burt had written with another songwriter, Bob Hilliard. And after the session was over, Burt approached me and asked if I would be interested in doing demonstration records and more background work on songs he’d be writing with a new songwriting partner named Hal David. And I said, ‘As long as it doesn’t interfere with my education because my mother would kill you and me, so let’s get that understood right away.’ And that’s how we kind of got together.
Burt, Hal, and I grew into what came to be known throughout the industry as the triangle marriage that worked. We each felt that we had something to offer and made it all work together. But musically, of course, Burt’s musicianship is — I don’t think anybody can surpass it. Hal David? I don’t consider him a lyricist. I consider him a poet. And I was the interpreter of both. So we brought what we had to the table and it worked.”