Jack Leroy "Jackie" Wilson, Jr. (June 9, 1934 – January 21, 1984) was an American soul singer-songwriter and performer. A tenor with a four octave vocal range, he was nicknamed "Mr. Excitement", and was important in the transition of rhythm and blues into soul. He was considered a master showman, and one of the most dynamic and influential singers and performers in R&B and rock 'n' roll history. Gaining fame in his early years as a member of the R&B vocal group Billy Ward and His Dominoes, he went solo in 1957 and recorded over 50 hit singles that spanned R&B, pop, soul, doo-wop and easy listening. This included 16 R&B Top 10 hits, including 6 R&B # 1's. On the Billboard Hot 100, he scored 14 Top 20 Pop hits, 6 of which made it into the Pop Top 10. On September 29, 1975 while headlining a Dick Clark Oldies Concert, he collapsed on stage from what was later determined to be a massive heart attack, and subsequently slipped into a coma slowing awakening over a period of 8 months. He remained semi-comatose for the 9 years preceding his death in 1984, at the age of 49; he was deemed conscious but incapacitated in early June, 1976. Wilson was an inspiration to Elvis Presley, Bruce Springsteen, James Brown and Michael Jackson to name a few. He was one of the most influential artists of his generation.
A two-time Grammy Hall of Fame Inductee, Wilson was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Jackie Wilson #69 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.