Over his short career, Sam Cooke released a series of hit love songs that quickly made him a pop sensation. But as an African-American, the late singer felt moved to put his experiences with racism during the Jim Crow era on wax.

Sam sung those pains and channeled his gospel roots on 'A Change Is Gonna Come,' released posthumously on Dec. 22, 1964 -- 11 days after he was fatally shot at the age of 33.

The song was not popular upon its initial release, but its long-term impact is unquestionable. The record exemplified the Civil Rights Movement and over the years many artists have covered it, as its message of overcoming struggle can be felt universally.


Listen to Sam Cooke's 'A Change Is Gonna Come'

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