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" You learn if you mind stay open. And once you can't learn no more, your mind must be closed. Life goes on and you keep growing, you know? "
" Once upon a time, I could sing three hours. Now, when you see me say 'I'm done,' I'm done; ain't nothing left till the next night. "
" I will play my part by singing the spirit into every open heart. "
" I keep living life as it's dealt to me. Sometimes, it's not dealt 100 percent. Sometimes it's dealt on the low '30s. "
" Leave them wanting more and you know they'll call you back. "
" When I want to check out how my life's been, I go through my albums. They steps in my life. "
" You knew the difference between Barbra Streisand and Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles, straight away. Now everyone sounds like each other, and I don't think that's right. "
" I know a lot of people who are not here anymore, and I wonder why I'm still here... Not a day goes by that I don't think about Sam Cooke. His presence is so strong and so convincing to me, a true artist, a true talent, who never talked down to people. "
" I was on stage with Cyndi Lauper, and my trousers split. It seemed like she was going to sing for ever. "
" I like to swim, I like to play with my dogs and I love to eat - but I have to start watching that because my suits are getting too small. "
" I never gave up on music, and I feel like music never gave up on me. "
" You gotta know when it's time to hang up. But when I finally go, let me go out on stage, my perfect ending. Don't let me go when I'm sick or asleep. Let me be in motion. "
" It is my fondest wish that the gift of song that God has given me will flow from my soul to yours and help ease any burden that might weigh upon you. "
" People think you have to go through a lot of changes to become a soul singer, You just have to go through life. "
" When I first played New York, it was with James Brown at the Apollo, and I was playing in a band under the name The Valentinos. I remember Sam Cooke saying, 'I want you to go in there with James Brown. I couldn't be as hard on you as James Brown would be.' But we came out marching like soldiers. "
" When I was a kid, during those days, you couldn't use instruments. It was against the pastor's religion, so all the singers would make these instruments with their voices. It was just unbelievable. I couldn't explain it. "
" I was hoping I could become a success to give my mother and my father a better way of living. "
" I started with Sam Cooke when I was 6 or 7 years old. "
" I'm amazed by the ground that I covered. The music's the number-one thing. And if it isn't, you better quit now. "
" Chicago is old stomping grounds for me. "
" I think people like it when I tell them, 'I'm lucky to be here, because they are, too. Ain't nothing to do with age. There ain't nothing promised to you. Everybody's going to die. "
" Plantation gospel music was the stuff I fell in love with when I was a kid - these beautiful melodies and these hard, hard stories. "
" Nobody could understand why a guy would love his guitar, then all of a sudden turn around and try to destroy it. Jimi was just different. "
" We take things for granted, and because we wake up every day, you start talking about what you're going to do next week. I said, 'Who told you you would be here next week?' "
" People shout out for songs and I don't even remember writing them. "