Burt Bacharach Dead: Dionne Warwick Calls Loss of Musician 'Like Losing a Family Member'

Dionne Warwick issued a heartbreaking tribute to Burt Bacharach, who co-wrote many of her most famous songs with Hal David during the 1960s. Bacharach died on Wednesday at 94 from natural causes. Warwick's vocals, David's lyrics, and Bacharach's melodies made songs like "I Say a Little Prayer" and "Walk on By" pop classics.

"Burt's transition is like losing a family member," Warwick, 82, wrote in a press statement Thursday. "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."

After singing in gospel groups, Warwick was discovered by Bacharach when she performed background vocals on The Drifters' 1962 song "Mexican Divorce." Later that year, Warwick's first solo single, the Bacharach-David song "Don't Make Me Over," became their first Top 40 hit. Warwick continued scoring pop hits with Bacharach-David songs, even during the British Invasion. "Anyone Who Had a Heart," "Walk on By," "I Say a Little Prayer," and "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?" were all smash hits.

Warwick's working relationship with Bacharach and David ended on a sour note in 1972 when the songwriters stopped working together when their film musical Lost Horizon flopped. Warwick was left without their songwriting and producing skills but was still obligated to record for Warner Bros. Records. This led to Warwick suing Bacharach and David for breach of contract. The lawsuit was settled in 1979.

In 2021, Warwick told The Los Angeles Times that she and Bacharach patched things up. "We fell out, we fell back in," the singer, who was recently the subject of the CNN/HBO Max documentary Dionne Warwick: Don't Make Me Over, said. "Burt and I are more family than friends."

Bacharach co-wrote more than 50 top 40 hits and had an unparalleled run during the 1960s and 1970s. He won the Oscars for Best Original Score for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and Best Original Original Song for "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" (1969) and "Aurthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)" (1981). He won six Grammys, including Song of the year for "That's What Friends Are For" in 1987. In 2008, he received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy.