R&B legend Ben E King has sadly passed away this week aged 76.
With a career that started in the late 1950s with The Drifters, singing hits including There Goes My Baby and Save The Last Dance For Me, he hit the US top five with 'Stand By Me' in 1961.
The single enjoyed a resurgence in the charts in the 80s thanks to the popularity of the film of the same name. Actor Jerry O'Connell, who played Vern in the film Stand By Me alongside River Phoenix and Corey Feldman, tweeted: "You know you are good when John Lennon covers your song. Ben E. King was a wonderful and immensely talented man."
Born Benjamin Earl Nelson, he initially joined a doo-wop group called The Five Crowns, who became The Drifters after that group's manager fired the band's previous members.
"In my vocal I think you can hear something of my earlier times when I'd sing in subway halls for the echo, and perform doo-wop on street corners," commented King on his performance in a 2013 interview "But I had a lot of influences, too - singers like Sam Cooke, Brook Benton and Roy Hamilton. The song's success lay in the way Leiber and Stoller took chances, though, borrowing from symphonic scores, and we had a brilliant string arranger."
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