Ben E. King Dead: “Stand By Me” Singer Dies At 76
R&B singer Ben E. King died on Thursday, his publicist confirms. He was 76.
King was best known for the 1961 hit “Stand By Me,” which went on to soundtrack the movie of the same name. Earlier this year, the popular song was named a 2014 inductee into the Library of Congress National Recording Registry for its place in music history.
Born Benjamin Earl King, the late performer rose to fame as a member of The Drifters. The group had a number of hits, including “There Goes My Baby,” “Save The Last Dance For Me,” and “This Magic Moment.” After going solo, King found success with “Spanish Harlem,” “I (Who Have Nothing),” and “Supernatural Thing,” among others.
King went on to create the Stand By Me Foundation, which sought to improve the quality of life for people struggling with poverty, education, addiction, and other issues. Fellow musician Gary U.S. Bonds was a board member, and took to Facebook to pay tribute to King in the wake of his death. “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,” wrote Bonds.
He continued, “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.”