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Otis Redding III, Musician and Son of 'King of Soul,' dies at 59

Photo Courtesy The Otis Redding Foundation  
Otis Redding III, the musician who shared a name with his iconic 1960s soul singer father, died of cancer on Tuesday. He was 59.

The youngest child of soul legend Otis Redding, Redding III's death was announced in a statement shared Wednesday by his sister, Karla Redding-Andrews, via The Otis Redding Foundation's Facebook page.

"It is with heavy hearts that the family of Otis Redding III confirms that he lost his battle with cancer last evening at Atrium Health Navicent in Macon, GA," Redding-Andrews wrote. "Otis was 59 years old. Please keep our family in your prayers at this time, and please respect our privacy as we consume this huge loss. Arrangements will be announced at a later date."

Redding III's father, nicknamed "The King of Soul," died at the age of 26 in a plane crash on December 10, 1967, when Redding III was just three years old. He and his three siblings, including brother and future bandmate Dexter, were raised by their mother Zelma on the 300-acre Big O Ranch where their dad was buried.

In the 1980s, Redding III formed the funk band The Reddings with Dexter and their cousin Mark Lockett. The trio released six albums together, with their biggest hit being "Remote Control."

Though The Reddings released their final album in 1988, Redding III continued to play music, performing his father's music at weddings and private parties. He also made a high-profile appearance at Carnegie Hall in 2018 for an Otis Redding tribute concert.

Redding III gave back to his community in Georgia, working with The Otis Redding Foundation to offer musical education to young people and serving as the board president for his local chapter of Meals on Wheels.

"Who can live up to Otis Redding? I mean, I had his name, I got a little bit of talent, but you know, nobody can really live up to the King of Soul," Redding III told The Telegraph in 2017. "We do his songs, my brother Dexter does a great job. We do our thing. But we know that we respect the game — he's the King of Soul."

Redding III noted in the same interview that he believed his father's legacy was "timeless," and hoped that younger artists would be inspired by all that he accomplished in his short life.

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