Tuesday 17 October 2017

'Stand by Me' soul singer Ben E King has died

Ben E. King performs during the 34th Annual John Lennon Tribute Benefit Concert at Symphony Space on December 5, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
Ben E. King performs during the 34th Annual John Lennon Tribute Benefit Concert at Symphony Space on December 5, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)

Independent.ie Newsdesk and agencies

Ben E King has died. The soul legend is behind much loved song Stand By Me, as well tunes Up on the Roof and Under the Boardwalk with popular band The Drifters.

He passed away at the age of 76. The cause of death has not yet been released.

Fellow rhythm and blues singer Gary U.S. Bonds took to his Facebook page to share his sadness.

“With an extremely heavy heart, I must say goodbye to one of the sweetest, gentlest and gifted souls that I have had the privilege of knowing and calling my friend for more than 50 years - Mr. Ben E. King.

“Speaking for myself, my family & my Roadhouse Rockers family, I can tell you that Ben E. will be missed more than words can say. Our sincere condolences go out to Betty and the entire family. Thank you Ben E. for your friendship and the wonderful legacy you leave behind (sic),” he emotionally posted.

Stand By Me was first released in 1961, making the top five in the US charts. Following the release of the hit film of the same name in 1986, which starred River Phoenix, the track shot back into the charts. It peaked at number one in the UK in 1987.

King was heavily involved in his own charity, The Stand By Me Foundation, which helps to raise funds for deserving youths working to further their education and to assist organisations and associations in improving the quality of life of their constituents in his hometown of Teaneck, New Jersey.

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