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Songwriter's death in NYC is ruled a suicide

Associated Press Modified: May 23, 2011 at 7:16 pm •  Published: May 23, 2011

Brooks won the Academy Award for best original song for the 1977 Debby Boone ballad "You Light Up My Life" and directed a movie of the same name about a comedian who had a one-night stand with a director. Brooks also won a Grammy for the song.

"I have been saddened to hear of the horrible tragedies surrounding Joe Brooks and his family over the years," Boone said in a statement released through a friend on Monday.

"My only real association with Joe was in 1977 for a couple of hours in a New York recording studio when I recorded his beautiful song. I will continue to sing it proudly and hope that people will be able to separate the song from Joe's severely troubled life," Boone said.

In an unrelated case, Brooks' son, Nicholas, is charged with murder in the death of his girlfriend, Peruvian-American swimsuit designer Sylvie Cachay. She was found dead, half-clothed and face-up, in a tub at the swanky Soho House after water began leaking through to the floor below.

Nicholas Brooks has pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail at the Rikers Island jail complex.