“You Light Up My Life” Songwriter Commits Suicide

Joseph Brooks, who wrote Debby Boone’s 1977 hit “You Light Up My Life,” was found dead Sunday (May 22) at his home in New York City. Police said one of Brooks’ friends found the 73-year-old songwriter on a couch with a plastic dry cleaning bag and a towel wrapped around his head and a tube attached to a helium tank. A suicide note was found at the scene. At the time of his death, Brooks was awaiting trial on rape and sexual abuse charges after pleading innocent in 2009 to alleged attacks on 13 women. In January, his son Nicholas Brooks was charged with the death of his ex-girlfriend, swimsuit designer Sylvie Cachey. Boone’s recording of “You Light Up My Life” reached No. 1 on the Billboard pop chart and No. 4 on the country chart. It won an Academy Award in 1977 for best original song and a Grammy in 1978 as song of the year.