Bobby Caldwell, ‘What You Won’t Do For Love’ Singer, Dies at 71

The R&B artist behind hits like “Open Your Eyes” was also a composer

bobby caldwell
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Bobby Caldwell, the R&B and jazz singer best known for his 1978 hit “What You Won’t Do For Love,” has died at age 71. His wife Mary Caldwell announced via Twitter that he had passed away at home after suffering from “floxing,” shorthand for fluoroquinolone toxicity syndrome, a debilitating side effect of fluoroquinolone antibiotics.

“I held him tight in my arms as he left us. I am forever heartbroken. Thanks to all of you for your many prayers over the years,” she wrote. “He had been ‘FLOXED,’ it took his health over the last 6 years and 2 months. Rest with God, my Love.”

TheWrap has reached out to Caldwell’s reps for more information.

Caldwell’s first hit was part of his eponymous debut album, landing him at the top of the charts and on many soundtracks in the years to come – most recently, on Netflix’s “Mindhunter.” His songs, such as “Open Your Eyes,” found new life as samples as well. Tupac Shakur’s 1998 tune “Do For Love” incorporated “What You Won’t Do For Love,” while Common incorporated “Open Your Eyes” into popular track “The Light.”

He released 16 albums over the course of more than 35 years, ending with 2015’s “Cool Uncle.” During the mid-1980s, as his singer-songwriter career stalled in the U.S., he crafted hits for other performers: “Janet” for the Commodores, “What Kind of Man” for Chicago, “Heart of Mine” for Boz Scaggs and “The Next Time I Fall” for Peter Cetera. However, he maintained a large following in Japan, where four of his albums were certified gold, according to the Los Angeles Times.

In addition, he is credited with writing and performing songs for several film and TV projects, including Spike Lee’s “Bamboozled,” “Donnie Brasco,” “Notorious” and “Celeste & Jesse Forever.” Caldwell also dabbled in composition, scoring the theme for the 1985 TV movie “Joanna” and the 1984 song “Lovelite” for music video series “Red Hot Rock.” He made a guest acting apperance on a 1985 episode of “Sara.”

Chance the Rapper, DJ Jazzy Jeff and Holly Robinson Peete were among those who mourned Caldwell’s death on social media. See below for tributes.