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'I Love Rock 'N' Roll' Writer Dies From Coronavirus

Alan Merrill was 69
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 30, 2020 12:52 AM CDT

(Newser) – Alan Merrill—who wrote the song "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" that became a signature hit for fellow rocker Joan Jett—died Sunday in New York of complications from the coronavirus, his daughter said. He was 69. Laura Merrill said on her Facebook account that he died in the morning, the AP reports. "I was given 2 minutes to say my goodbyes before I was rushed out. He seemed peaceful and as I left there was still a glimmer of hope that he wouldn’t be a ticker on the right hand side of the CNN/Fox news screen," she wrote. "I walked 50 blocks home still with hope in my heart. The city that I knew was empty. I felt I was the only person here and perhaps in many ways I was. By the time I got in the doors to my apartment I received the news that he was gone."

Merrill said her father was in good spirits recently. She went to a show of his about two weeks ago and had taken a photograph of him for his new album, Merrill said. "He played down the ‘cold' he thought he had," she said. "I've made a million jokes about the 'Rona' and how it’ll getcha... boy do I feel stupid." Merrill was born in New York and grew up in Switzerland, Los Angeles, and Japan before starting his music career in New York. Jett scored a major hit with "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" in 1982. Alan Merrill wrote the song for his band The Arrows and recorded it in 1975. "I’ve just learned of the awful news that Alan Merrill has passed," Jett tweeted. "My thoughts and love go to his family, friends and music community as a whole."

(Read more coronavirus stories.)

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