Ben E. King, beloved R&B/soul singer, has passed away. He was 76.
If you don’t immediately recognize the name, you will immediately recognize his most popular song. Hit play and set the mood:
There aren’t many details around his death, but that’s the sad part. Better to celebrate his amazing life.
Born Benjamin Earl Nelson on Sept. 28, 1938 in Henderson, North Carolina, Ben grew up in NYC, specifically in Harlem.
He began his career in the 1950s in the group The Drifters before eventually going solo and releasing his most popular hit, Stand By Me.
The song is so popular in part because of the 1986 film of the same name, Stand By Me. Wil Wheaton, who starred in the film and accompanying music video, tweeted:
I only met Ben E. King once, when we did the music video for Stand By Me. He was a kind and gentle man. May he rest in peace.
Wil Wheaton (@wilw) May 1, 2015
Sure, King had several other hits, like There Goes My Baby and Spanish Harlem, but there’s just something special about Stand By Me.
Maybe that’s why it reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and was even added to the U.S. Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry.
His song will forever be remembered and loved, as will Ben E. King. May he rest in peace.