Rocker Alex Chilton Dead at 59

Heart attack likely fells singer of Box Tops, Big Star

By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 17, 2010 9:16 PM CDT

(Newser) – Alex Chilton, the singer and guitarist known for his vocals on the Box Tops’ 1967 hit The Letter and a cult favorite to many of the past two decades' musicians, died today at 59. A heart attack is believed to the culprit, the Commercial Appeal of Chilton’s native Memphis reports; he had complained earlier today of heart issues in New Orleans, where he’d moved.

“I’m crushed. We’re all just crushed,” says the record exec behind Chilton’s other band, the 1970s power-pop act Big Star (whose songs were covered by the likes of Wilco, Beck, REM, Garbage and Bat For Lashes, Rolling Stone notes). “This sudden death experience is never something that you’re prepared for.”

Alex Chilton is seen in a 2004 photo.
Alex Chilton is seen in a 2004 photo.   (Wikimedia Commons)
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Alex Chilton on vocals for the Box Tops' "Cry Like a Baby."   (YouTube)

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