He influenced a considerable number of artists - Van Morrison and Michael Jackson among them - and his spirited performances earned him the nickname "Mr. Excitement". Jackie Wilson is often cited as a key artist in the transition of rhythm and blues to soul. He started out in the mid to late 50s as a member of the R&B group the Dominoes, but he's far better known for an almost 20 year solo career that ended abruptly in 1975.
In a tragic circumstance, Wilson suffered a massive heart attack while performing in a Dick Clark show, while singing his 1958 hit Lonely Teardrops. As he reached the line "...my heart is crying..." he fell head-first to the stage. The blow left him comatose for eight and-a-half years and he eventually passed away in 1984 at the age of 49.