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Solomon Burke Edit Profile

also known as Solomon Vincent McDonald Burke ,"The King of Rock 'N Soul","The Bishop of Soul","King Solomon","The Wonder Boy preacher","Lord Solomon"

archbishop , entrepreneur , Mortician , singer , writer


Burke was married four times, and was engaged at least twice. In total Burke fathered at least 21 children (14 daughters and 7 sons), including at least two fathered outside any of his marriages, including Melvia Burke and Elijah Mohammed Burke, and had 90 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren at the time of his death.

Burke was married to Doris P. Williams for two months, however it was annulled by August 1958, which resulted in the birth one child, Valerie Doris Gresham (born 16 September 1957).

Burke's second wife was Delores Clark Burke Perkins (born 1937), with whom he had 7 children, including Eleanor Alma (Born December 27, 1958),] Melanie (Born March 1960), Solomon Vincent, Jr. (born October 15, 1961), Carolyn (Born September 1962), John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK), Gemini (born September 1, 1964), and Lillian (Born August 1966). After they were divorced, Delores and her children moved to Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Burke's third wife was Bernadine Burke.

Burke's fourth wife was Frances Sunday (born 1951), whom he married about 1970, who was married to him (but separated) when he died, with whom he had three children: King Solomon Haile Selassie Burke (born 7 August 1972), Queen Sunday Victoria Burke (born 24 February 1974), and Queen Elizabeth Burke-Maynard (born 12 March 1975).

At the end of 2006 Burke was engaged to his manager, Jane Vickers, of American Royalty Management, who had been his personal assistant since at least 1977.

In a 2006 interview Burke admitted having his first child at age 14: "being a father at age 14 maybe been a little early, but I don’t regret one moment, one second, one day, or one hour. My only regrets are the loss of my twins and my first son." Burke's twin sons were James and David, who both died in infancy. By 1961, Burke had "three kids on the outside, and about four at home", including Melanie Burke (born 1960), Solomon Vincent Burke, Jr. (born 15 October 1961). In an open letter to his children, Burke wrote: "Your love and your strength, and the love of your mothers, have made me the strongest-minded father in the world. I may not be the best father. Maybe I haven’t done everything that I should do, could do, or would do…or desire to do, but by the grace of God, and your prayers, we will make it. Every day is a new way. None of us are perfect and God knows, I have made many mistakes." Burke admitted serial infidelity during his marriages: "I was young. Girls were coming from every angle. I couldn't love them all. But I tried." Burke stated: "I realized in later years that money didn’t solve problems. I realized too that maybe the reason I had problems with my marriages was because I didn’t spend enough time with my children, my family. I thought that sending money home and buying pretty cars and redoing houses, and ordering food by the hundreds of dollars a day, would keep my family together, keep my children happy. ... Not being there all the time, being on the road 250 days out of the year, was too much. I was gaining the world and losing my children. And my wife. My love life."



  • Solomon Burke, Apollo, 1962.

    Solomon Burke's Greatest Hits, Atlantic, 1962.

    If You Need Me, Atlantic, 1963.

    Rock 'n' Soul, Atlantic, 1964.

    The Best of Solomon Burke, Atlantic, 1965.

    King Solomon, Atlantic, 1967.

    I Wish I Knew, Atlantic, 1968.

    Proud Mary, Bell, 1969.

    Electronic Magnetism, MGM, 1972.

    We're Almost Home, MGM, 1973.

    I Have a Dream, Dunhill. 1974.

    Music to Make Love By, Chess, 1975.

    Back to My Roots, Atlantic, 1977.

    Take Me, Shake Me, Savoy, 1981.

    Soul Alive!, Rounder, 1984.

    The Best of Solomon Burke, Atlantic, 1989.

    Home in Your Heart: The Best of Solomon Burke, Rhino, 1992.

    Soul of the Blues, Black Top, 1993.

    Solomon Burke Live at the House of Blues, Black Top, 1994.

    Definition of Soul, Electric and Music Industries, 1997.


Attended Church of God for All People before founding own church, Solomon's Temple, at age 12


  • Music & Bands

    Blues, gospel, rhythm and blues, soul, rock and roll


1st wife:
Doris P. Williams

2-nd wife:
Delores Clark Burke Perkins

3d wife:
Bernadine Burke

4th wife:
Frances Sunday