A spokesman for the Burlington County medical examiner says Tate was 72 when he died of natural causes Friday in Burlington City.
Tate was born in Macon, Ga., and grew up in Philadelphia. In the late 1960s and early '70s he had three top 20 R&B hits, including "Get It While You Can," written by his longtime producer Jerry Ragovoy and made more famous by Janis Joplin.
But Tate fell into drug addiction and ended up homeless. Ragovoy believed he had died.
Tate made a comeback a decade ago - again with Ragovoy producing. His 2003 release "Rediscovered" was nominated for a Grammy for best contemporary blues album.