Legendary Songwriter Behind ‘Hooked on a Feeling’ Has Died

(NationRise.com) – Famous songwriter Mark James died on June 8 at the age of 83 at his house in Nashville, Tennessee, with no cause of death revealed so far. James, who was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame back in 2014, wrote some legendary songs such as “Always on My Mind,” “Suspicious Minds,” and “Hooked on a Feeling.”

Music experts and reporters have described James as one of the most important songwriters in America’s music history because of the massive success of some of the pieces he wrote and the legendary status of the artists who performed them. Some of the songs he crafted were included in the list of the 100 best songs of the last century. He worked alongside Elvis Presley, with many in the industry claiming that the pair complemented each other’s works.

In a statement, the songwriter’s family said that his legacy will forever live on in the minds and hearts of everyone who liked the songs he wrote and those who loved him personally. The family added that his lyrics became timeless, stating that James’s work will always be part of the “soundtrack of lovers” in the United States and many other countries worldwide.

James was born in Houston back in 1940 with the name of Francis Zambon. He changed it years later after he started to play the guitar in front of the public, as most club owners in the city thought he had to use another name to attract more people. He officially launched his music career in Houston in 1959 with the single Jive Note, which became an immediate success.

James eventually decided to create another project, The Mark James Trio, before dedicating himself to writing songs for some of the era’s most important artists and musicians. He won two Grammys in 1983 for writing Always on My Mind‘s lyrics, which became even more famous in 1987 when the Pet Shop Boys covered it.

His hit song “Hooked on a Feeling” saw a resurgence of popularity in 2014 after it was featured in the global blockbuster film Guardians of the Galaxy, which starred Chris Pratt and Vin Diesel.

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