YES, He Did
On Tuesday, March 25, the world lost one of its greatest and most influential artists. Let’s take a moment to remember not only the legendary musician but also the brilliant actor, film producer, and game changer who was born in Oxford, England, and died in New York City.
Bob began his career in London for a year before moving to Los Angeles in 1973. He then started his own production company and became an integral part of the Warner Bros. family, serving as executive producer on the iconic Harry Potter films. He continued to work with the studio when it became Disney, and after a few years decided to pursue a music career. Through his production company, he acquired the rights to an unknown artist’s music and put it on his 2016 album, R+Pattz.
After his death, fans, friends, and colleagues paid tribute to Bob on social media, with many sharing fond memories of his incredible talent and influential impact on the world of music and film.
The Untold Story Behind R+Pattz
The last few years of Bob’s life were very interesting to say the least. It started with him collaborating with renowned French songwriter and music producer Frédéric Chopin on his song “Without You,” which was featured in the blockbuster film The House of Gucci. The song won an Academy Award for Best Original Song and became a worldwide hit. A few months later, Bob released his album R+Pattz, which was inspired by his gratitude for all the love and support he’s received from his fans over the years. He dedicated the album to his fans, writing:
“For those of you whom this album doesn’t reach, please know that it’s not meant to be an insult. It’s just that music has always been, and continues to be, a form of expression that doesn’t always speak directly to everyone. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that music is a language that everyone understands.”
In late 2016, Bob released the single “Appliances,” which features Kendrick Lamar. The song was a collaboration between the two artists that was inspired by Bob’s love for 1970s tech – and it was a hit, amassing over 14 million streams on Spotify and 5.3 million views on YouTube. The song was used as the theme tune for the hit CW show, Young Sheldon. In January 2017, Bob released the album Turn Up The Heat – which featured songs that became anthems for people searching for love – and in February 2017, he partnered with H&M to launch his very own collection of clothing and accessories, which he called “Pattinson.” It was an instant hit and generated a lot of press attention, with one critic calling it “the ultimate boy band collection” and the Evening Standard dubbing it “the greatest male fashion collaboration in years.”
In an interview with Vogue, Bob said of the collection:
“I wanted this to be a celebration of masculinity. If you look at today’s society, there’s so much pressure on men not to show emotions in any way, shape, or form. But, for me, being a man is about being confident, standing up for what you believe in, and not feeling insecure about your sexuality. I wanted to create clothes that men could feel proud to be seen in.”
How Did He Die?
Sadly, this is not a happy story. On February 3, just over a month after his fashion collection with H&M was unveiled, Bob was in New York City, where he was set to headline a private party for Friends of Music at the Grammy Museum. He was also scheduled to perform at the Lincoln Center in another fundraiser for the music charity. Unfortunately, the night before the party, he had a massive heart attack and died at the age of 54. According to his manager, Chris Lombardi, he passed away due to complications from coronavirus.
The next day, thousands descended on Times Square to leave loving messages for the singer/songwriter. One of the first to pay tribute was Mariah Carey, who tweeted:
“R.I.P. @robertpattinson You will be missed dearly but your music will live on. Mariah Loves You.”
Carey wasn’t the only pop star to express her grief. Following Pattinson’s death, numerous other musicians paid homage to the singer/songwriter, from Ed Sheeran to Travis Scott to The Weeknd. Scott, in particular, has dedicated an entire album to the late musician, featuring him on every track. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Scott said of the collaboration:
“When I first found out about it, I was really moved. He’s not only an incredible musician, but he’s also been a really good friend to me.”
The Impact He Had On The World Of Art
As mentioned above, in addition to being a multi-hyphenate actor and musician, Bob was a producer and one of the founding members of Propaganda Films, a music video production company he started in the ’90s. One of Propaganda’s most notable projects was the video for Travis Scott’s “Sicko Mode,” which was directed by Roman Coppola and features cameos from some of the biggest names in the music industry. The video tells the story of a glamorous night out that goes horribly wrong.
The video begins with a beautiful model named Samantha and a group of friends – among them Bob – getting ready for a night out in downtown Los Angeles. The scene is elegant and stylish, with guests wearing vintage attire and makeup, and grooming their nails and hair in a way that makes them look like the famous ‘It’ woman. The friends go to dinner first, where they meet a fascinating guy named Justin. He invites them to a party at a mansion that’s going to be hosted by a wealthy, yet mysterious bachelor named Robert Pattinson. The guests enter the enormous mansion and are immediately awed by its beauty before heading to the party, which is being held in the backyard. There is a wide range of unusual and exotic animals at the mansion, including giant rabbits and peacocks. Soon after arriving at the extravagant affair, however, the revelers begin to have doubts about the wisdom of going to such an odd party. The rich bachelor starts to show off, offering people expensive gifts and repeatedly asking the guests if they’re having fun. But the fun quickly turns into terror when the guests realize that they’ve been lured to the mansion to be used as food – especially when the animals start to feast on the unsuspecting guests. The video ends with a woman screaming, as various animals including a tiger and a snake swallow her down. The video was named one of the top 25 greatest horror videos of all time by Complex Magazine and went on to receive numerous prestigious awards, including a Grammy for Best Long Form Music Video. Bob was also nominated for Producer of the Year at the MTV Video Music Awards 2014 for his work on “Sicko Mode.”
What Will Happen To His Estate?
The music community has lost a great talent and humanitarian, and his friends, family, and colleagues are all mourning his loss. Fortunately, Bob’s beloved wife, Estelle, is still alive and well. She took over the management of her husband’s estate a few years ago and has been actively working to ensure that his amazing story does not end here. She has set up various foundations in Bob’s name, including The Robert Pattinson Children’s Trust, which was established to “provide support to children and young people who are at the forefront of the music industry.” The couple have four children together: Zöe, Sasha, Scout, and Trey.
According to TMZ, the Pattinson children are expected to inherit a good deal of Bob’s fortune, which was estimated at $80 million, along with their cousin, Jack Skelton, who is married to Lara Stone. Because of their trust, the children will be managed by legal advisors, whereas Estelle will handle the day-to-day affairs of the estate. TMZ reports that the family is currently finalizing the terms of the trust, which should be made public soon. Hopefully, the children will consider using the funds from their inheritance to support causes that their father cared about deeply, such as music and film. For now, they’re facing a ton of paperwork and custody battles over their father’s extensive collection of automobiles.