#RIP: R&B Legend Ben E King Dies At 76

#RIP: R&B Legend Ben E King Dies At 76

R&B and Soul legend, Ben E King who was very popular for his song titled ‘Stand By Me’ on Thursday, April 30, 2015 demised at the age of 76.

King who began his singing career in the late 1950s with a group known as The Drifters.

He sang hits including There Goes My Baby and Save The Last Dance For Me.

After going solo, he hit the US top five with Stand By Me in 1961.

Stand By Me made a tremendous return to the charts in the 1980s, including a three-week spell at number one in the UK following its use in the film of the same name and a TV advert.

King’s other hits included Spanish Harlem, Amor, Don’t Play That Song (You Lied) and Supernatural Thing – Part I.

He co-wrote and sang on the band’s single There Goes My Baby, which reached number two in the US in 1959.

The Drifters were paid just $100 per week by their manager and, after a request for a pay rise was turned down, the singer decided to go it alone. In the process, he adopted the surname King.

His first solo hit, in 1961, was Spanish Harlem, which was followed by Stand By Me.

He originally intended Stand By Me for The Drifters, but said they turned it down. So he worked on the song when Atlantic Records boss Ahmet Ertegun paired him with writers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.

As the 1960s went on and rock ‘n’ roll took off, King’s commercial success waned.

He continued to tour and, in the mid-1970s, Ertegun was so impressed by one of his shows in Miami that he decided to re-sign him to Atlantic.

That led to a return to the charts with Supernatural Thing – Part I, which reached the US top five in 1975.

King returned to the spotlight again in the late 1980s when Stand By Me was the theme song for Rob Reiner’s film about boyhood friendship and was used in a British TV commercial for Levi’s jeans.

The star also established the Ben E King Stand By Me Foundation, a charity that says it helps ‘deserving youths working to further their education and to assist various civic organisations and associations in their efforts to improve the quality of life of their constituents’.


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