Who is Linda Womack?
Linda Womack is an American songwriter and singer, who together with her husband, Cecil Womack, made up the famous 1980s musical partnership ‘Womack & Womack’. Linda attained worldwide fame for her hit single ‘Teardrops’ from the album ‘Conscience’ that became an instant crowd-favourite at most clubs and radio stations of that time. Daughter of a famous soul singer, Linda grew up in a musical environment as she observed and mingled with her father’s musical collaborators. After navigating controversial relationships at an early age, Linda finally settled down with Cecil Womack and the two had a lifelong musical as well as personal partnership, until his death. After discovering her tribal African roots, Linda changed her name to Zeriiya and the entire family moved to South Africa. After her husband’s death, Linda now continues to release new music with her children from her base in Africa.
Linda Womack was deeply influenced by her father’s soul music. Observing her father collaborate with the Womack brothers during their recording sessions, Linda was introduced to the finer nuances of making melodious music as well as her future musical partner, Cecil Womack. It is believed that at the tender age of 11 years, Linda wrote her first song ‘I Need A Woman’. She also wrote and arranged many other popular songs like ‘It’s A Groove’ in 1968 and ‘Woman’s Gotta Have It’ (co-written by her future brother-in-law Bobby Womack), in 1972.
After a tumultuous few years in the music business, Linda married Cecil Womack and began her hugely successful musical journey under the title ‘Womack & Womack’. Linda wrote most of the songs on their first album ‘Love Wars’, released in 1983, inspired by their own twisted life stories. Their song ‘Baby I’m Scared Of You’ became a ‘Top 40 R&B single’ in the same year.
The husband-wife duo followed up in 1988 with another hit album ‘Conscience’ which had the smash hit single ‘Teardrops’, written by Linda. The video of this disco-dance number was shot in the recording studio and featured both Linda and Cecil. The Womacks enjoyed much success throughout the 1980s, especially Linda, who gained fame as a songwriter and worked on hits like ‘Love T.K.O.’, Love Bankrupt’, etc. Most of the songs revolved around complex themes of infidelity and heartache, something that Linda was very familiar with. Some of the other popular albums of Linda’s career were ‘Radio M.U.S.I.C. Man’ in 1986, which her father had started to write and was completed by Linda. As part of Womack & Womack, Linda even performed at the Royal Albert Hall in 1987. ‘Starbright’ and ‘Family Spirit’ were later popular albums that Linda worked on with Cecil and many other collaborators. As ‘Womack & Womack’, Linda and Cecil recorded their last album titled ‘Transformation Into The House of Zekkariyas’, in 1993. Linda’s future works including hits like ‘Secret Star’ were released under their new label and new names. Most subsequent albums were a re-worked compilation of their previous hits and after Cecil’s death, Linda now records and releases songs with her children from their home in South Africa.
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Controversies & Scandals
Cecil Womack was reportedly besotted with Linda when she was just eight years old, but did not profess his true feelings for her until her father’s death when she was 12. Cecil proposed marriage to an underage Linda and she turned down the proposal.
Just a few months after her father’s death, in March 1965, Cecil’s brother, Bobby Womack, married Linda’s widowed mother, Barbara. It is widely believed that Bobby Womack had an affair with Linda while he was still married to her mother. On learning of this scandalous affair, Linda’s mother threw Bobby out of the house and divorced him in 1970.
Ironically, when Linda married Cecil many years later, Bobby Womack became her brother-in-law.
Family & Personal Life
Linda Womack was born as Linda Marie Cooke in Chicago, Illinois, USA on April 25, 1953. Her father, Sam Cooke, was a legendary soul singer and her mother was Barbara Campbell Cooke.
Linda was married to Cecil Womack, the youngest of the five Womack brothers. Cecil met Linda again years after she turned down his first marriage proposal, and they dated for some time. Very soon, Cecil proposed again; Linda agreed to it this time and they tied the knot in Las Vegas in 1979.
On a trip to Nigeria in the early 1990s, Linda and Cecil found out that they had ancestral ties to the ‘Zekkariyas’ tribe. Moved by this newfound knowledge, Linda and Cecil changed their names to ‘Zeriiya’ and ‘Zekkariyas’ respectively. They even changed their children’s names and left the U.S. to move to South Africa.
Linda’s husband passed away in early 2013.