Joseph Brooks, 'You Light Up My Life' Songwriter, Commits Suicide Awaiting Trial

6:06 PM PST 05/22/2011 by THR staff
Frank Edwards/Getty Images

The Grammy and Oscar winner was awaiting trial on charges of raping 11 women, while his son Nicholas is charged in the December death of his former girlfriend at New York's Soho House.

Joseph Brooks, who wrote the 1970s hit song "You Light Up My Life," was found dead Sunday afternoon from an apparent suicide, NYPD deputy commission Paul Browne told CNN. He was 73.

Brooks was found by a friend who was meeting him for lunch at his home. His body was discovered near a helium tank with a tube attached to a dry cleaning bag; his head and neck were wrapped in a towel, according to police, who added that he left a suicide note but declined to reveal what it said.

Brooks was awaiting trial on 2009 charges of allegedly raping 11 young actresses, according to the New York Daily News. He was charged with 82 counts of sexual abuse.

Meanwhile, his son Nicholas Brooks in January was charged with the death of his ex-girlfriend, swimsuit designer Sylvie Cachey, whose body was discovered at the Soho House club and hotel in New York in early December. If convicted, he could face 25 years to life in prison.

Brooks' hit ballad "You Light Up My Life" was featured in a 1977 movie of the same name that brooks wrote, directed and produced. It was named song of the year at the 1978 Grammys and best original song at the 1977 Oscars.

The song was performed by Kasey Cisyk in the movie but became a huge hit after being recorded by Debbie Boone, who went on to win a Grammy for best new artist.

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