'Stand by Me' Singer Dead at 76

Ben E. King achieved fame with The Drifters, then solo
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 1, 2015 10:34 AM CDT
'Stand By Me' Singer Dead at 76
In this Nov. 15, 2011, file photo, singer Ben E. King speaks during a news conference in Tokyo.   (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye, File)

Some tears are being shed: Ben E. King, singer of such classics as "Stand by Me," ''There Goes My Baby," and "Spanish Harlem," died yesterday at age 76, publicist Phil Brown tells the AP. As a member of the Drifters, King co-wrote and sang lead on "There Goes My Baby." The band had a string of hits featuring King, including "Save the Last Dance for Me" and "This Magic Moment," before he left in a contract dispute.

The 1961 ballad "Spanish Harlem" gave King his first solo hit. "Stand by Me," written with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, was chosen as one of the Songs of the Century by the Recording Industry Association of America. (The singer of the iconic version of "Louie Louie" also died this week.)

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