'You Light Up My Life' songwriter found dead in suicide, police say
Joseph Brooks accepts an Oscar at the 1978 Academy Awards. He won for best original song for "You Light Up My Life."
May 22nd, 2011
03:31 PM ET

'You Light Up My Life' songwriter found dead in suicide, police say

Joseph Brooks, the songwriter of the '70s smash ballad “You Light Up My Life,” was found dead from an apparent suicide at his home Sunday afternoon, NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne told CNN.

Brooks, 73, was discovered by a friend who was supposed to have lunch with the songwriter at his residence, according to police.

Brooks was  near a helium tank with a tube attached into a dry cleaning bag and a towel wrapped around his head and neck, police said. Brooks left a suicide note, according to Browne.

Brooks had been charged two years ago in the alleged rapes of 11 women, according to the New York Daily News.

Separately, his son Christopher Brooks had been charged in the death of his former girlfriend, a swimsuit designer. He faced 25 years in prison.

The ballad “You Light Up My Life” was the musical centerpiece to a 1977 film of the same name. The song, performed by Kasey Cisyk in the movie, was soon recorded by Debbie Boone to tremendous acclaim and garnered the singer a Grammy for Best New Artist.

soundoff (95 Responses)
  1. Glades2

    A terrible irony, but as a person who's lost 3 friends to suicide, this also shows that we have to live what we believe in – apparenly this man (and he son) lost sight of what's important in life and in the end it brought disaster to others and themselves...

    June 13, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Outdoor Girl

    When my son was a tiny little boy I used to sing that song into his ear while he went to sleep. In February of this year they say he took his life. He didn't leave a note, he had plans for the summer, and no one had an inkling he was considering suicide. But that was the ruling. It was very difficult to read this article since You Light Up My Life was his baby song.

    June 15, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mike

      I am very, very sorry for your loss.

      July 11, 2013 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. judilee325

    joseph brooks' son is nicholas not christopher brooks...he is accused of murdering his gf, syvie cachay, in the soho house hotel on dec. 9, 2010...joseph took his life may 22, 2011. i will miss you joe brooks...you were an amazingly talented man with demons that ate away at you but i always loved you!

    June 21, 2012 at 3:53 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. judilee325

    it is a very quick and painless death and he ordered the kit online...he was in so much pain he couldn't take it anymore.

    June 21, 2012 at 3:56 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Orang

    When will you men began to acknowledge your demonic violence - against the weakest first - children, then women, then other men? You don't deserve life if you choose to take another. No excuse surfice.

    July 12, 2013 at 12:30 am | Report abuse | Reply
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