Suspicious Minds’ Songwriter Mark James Found Dead

( Hall of Fame songwriter Mark James has passed away at the age of 83.

He is best known for hit songs that were recorded by Elvis and Willie Nelson, including “Suspicious Minds” and “You Were Always On My Mind.” The cause of death has not revealed and he is survived by his wife of 53 years, two daughters, and grandchildren.

BMI called James one of the best songwriters of the century in 2000 on the backs of three powerhouse songs that were listed in the top 100 songs of the century. “You Were Always on My Mind” was recorded by Elvis in 1972, but didn’t receive critical acclaim until Willie Nelson released his version in 1982. The Pet Shop Boys also had success with a cover of the song in 1987. He won two Grammys for the song in 1983. Paul McCartney and Elton John were two other songwriters that joined James on the prestigious list.

“Suspicious Minds” was originally recorded by James when he was trying to be a recording artist in 1968. The following year, Elvis released a version of the song which would be the final number one hit of his career. The Fine Young Cannibals also released a successful version of the song in 1986.

“Hooked on a Feeling” was the other song written by James that was named as one of the top 100 songs of the 20th century. The song was first released by B.J. Thomas in 1969 and reached fifth place on the charts. Blue Swede released a version in 1974 that hit number one on the charts. Garage Swedish rock band, the Hives, released their own version of the song in 2024 as a cover of the Blue Swede version.

James died on June 8 in his Nashville home. Many other famous artists recorded versions of James’ songs over the course of his career, including Bill Withers, Jay-Z, and Michael Bublé

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