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Tag: In Memoriam (51-60 of 329)

Ten Years After's guitarist Alvin Lee, dead at 68 after surgery complications

British rock guitarist Alvin Lee, founder of the band Ten Years After who burst to stardom with a memorable Woodstock performance, has died. He was 68.

A statement posted on Lee’s official website said he died Wednesday unexpectedly from complications following a routine surgical procedure. Lee’s manager, Ron Rainey, said the guitarist died in Spain.

“We have lost a wonderful, much loved father and companion,” said the statement signed by his daughter Jasmin, wife Evi and former companion Suzanne. “The world has lost a truly great and gifted musician.”

The Nottingham, England-born Lee founded the band Ten Years After in 1967. The group first toured the U.S. in 1967, but its popularity exploded following Lee’s rousing performance of the song “I’m Going Home” at Woodstock in 1969. Lee’s epic and electrifying solos on his Gibson guitar for the 11-minute performance were immortalized in the documentary film about the legendary festival. READ FULL STORY

Canadian country singer Stompin' Tom Connors died

Canadian country-folk singer Stompin’ Tom Connors, whose toe-tapping musical spirit and fierce patriotism established him as one of Canada’s biggest cultural icons, has died, his promoter said Wednesday night. He was 77.

Connors passed away from natural causes at his home Wednesday evening, Brian Edwards said. The musician, rarely seen without his signature black cowboy hat and stomping cowboy boots, was best known for songs “Sudbury Saturday Night,” “Bud the Spud” and especially “The Hockey Song,” a fan favorite played at hockey arenas around North America.

Those three songs are played at every Toronto Maple Leafs home game. At Toronto’s Air Canada Centre Wednesday night, many fans took to their feet as “The Hockey Song” was played after Connors’ death was announced. READ FULL STORY

Founding Miracles singer Bobby Rogers dies at 73

Bobby Rogers, singer and founding member of the Motown group the Miracles, died this morning at the age of 73. The singer, who had long been suffering from illness, was at his home in Southfield, MI.

Rogers is best known for his work with the Miracles and his songwriting collaborations with Smokey Robinson. “Another soldier in my life has fallen,” Robinson said in a statement, the AP reports. “Bobby Rogers was my brother and a really good friend. He and I were born on the exact same day in the same hospital in Detroit. I am really going to miss him. I loved him very much.”

Rogers formed the Miracles back in 1956 with Robinson, cousin Claudette Rogers, Pete Moore, and Ronnie White. The group went on to produce a number of R&B hits, including “Shop Around,” “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me,””Ooo Baby Baby,” “The Tracks of My Tears,” “I Second That Emotion,” and “Tears of a Clown.” The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.

READ FULL STORY

Temptations singer Richard Street died

Former Motown vocalist Richard Street, a member of the Temptations for 25 years, has died. He was 70.

Street’s wife, Cindy, says her husband died early Wednesday at a hospital in Las Vegas after a short illness.

Richard Street (far left in above photo) sang as a young man with Temptations members Otis Williams and Melvin Franklin, but didn’t join the famed Motown group until the early 1970s. He later made the move from his native Detroit to Los Angeles with other Motown acts and stayed with the group until the mid-1990s.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete, but Cindy Street expects services to be held sometime next week in Cypress, Calif.

She says her husband “was a really good person” who should be remembered for his work with the Temptations.

Mindy McCready dead of apparent suicide

According to the Cleburne Country Sheriff’s Office in Heber Springs, Ark., troubled country star Mindy McCready, best known for her hit 1996 album Ten Thousand Angels, died today in an apparent suicide at the age of 37.

Stacy McCloud, a reporter at Fox17 in Nashville, first tweeted the news on Sunday evening, and followed-up with a clarifying tweet an hour later:

NBC News correspondent Andrea Canning also reported details via Twitter, where she claimed that a close friend of McCready’s explained the singer had shot herself.

An email and call to McCready’s rep were not immediately returned.

Last week, a judge ordered McCready be sent to a treatment facility for mental health and alcohol issues on the same day that her two children, Zander, 6, and Zayne, 10 months, were placed in foster care. In January, McCready’s boyfriend, David Wilson, Zayne’s father, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

McCready moved herself from Florida to Nashville when she was 18, and within a year had scored a recording contract at BNA Records. In 1996, she released her debut album, Ten Thousand Angels, which sold over 2 million copies and spawned the number one single “Guys Do It All The Time.”

McCready’s two subsequent albums with BNA, 1997’s If I Don’t Stay the Night and 1999’s I’m Not So Tough, couldn’t match the success of her debut (though, If I Don’t Stay the Night was certified Gold), and she was dropped by the label soon after. In 2002, McCready released a self-titled fourth album with Capitol Records, but it was a commercial failure, and she was dropped once again.

Over the subsequent years, McCready’s personal struggles often overshadowed her musical endeavors. In August 2004, she was arrested for using a fake prescription to purchase OxyContin pills. In May 2005, McCready’s then-boyfriend, Billy McKnight, Zander’s father, was charged with attempted murder after he assaulted her. She was charged with DUI the same month. The following July, McCready was found unconscious in a hotel lobby in Florida after an attempted drug overdose. In September of that year, while pregnant with her first child, McCready was again hospitalized for an overdose of antidepressants. Sadly, those weren’t her only suicide attempts. McCready was also hospitalized in 2008 after cutting her wrists.

In 2009, McCready appeared in the third season of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. She released a new album in 2010 called I’m Still Here. “This time I can survive,” she wailed during the bridge of the title track.

McCready continued to run into legal troubles stemming from her probation and an ongoing custody dispute over son Zander from 2010-2012. The apparent suicide of boyfriend David Wilson on January 13 of this year clearly shook the star. In her last interview, McCready spoke with Dateline shortly after Wilson’s death. “He was my soulmate,” she said, through tears. “He was my life.”

RELATED:
Mindy McCready Comes Clean: Read the 2009 EW feature on the troubled star
Mindy McCready committed for alcohol and mental health issues

'Wild Thing' singer Reg Presley of the Troggs dead at 71

The structure is simple, the guitar riffs basic, the lyrics at best inane, but the Troggs’ “Wild Thing” remains a garage rock classic more than 45 years after its release made the Troggs and lead singer Reg Presley international stars.

Presley, whose raunchy, suggestive voice powers this paean to teenage lust, died Monday after a year-long struggle with lung cancer that had forced him and the band into reluctant retirement, his agent Keith Altham announced on Facebook late Monday night. He was 71.

“My dear old pal Reg Presley of the Troggs died today,” he said, calling Presley “one very real person in a sometimes very unreal world.” He said the singer had suffered a number of strokes recently and died at his home in Andover (70 miles west of London) surrounded by his family and friends. READ FULL STORY

Patty Andrews of Andrews Sisters dies at 94

Patty Andrews, the last surviving member of the singing Andrews Sisters trio whose hits such as the rollicking “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B” and the poignant “I Can Dream, Can’t I?” captured the home-front spirit of World War II, died Wednesday. She was 94.

Andrews died of natural causes at her home in the Los Angeles suburb of Northridge, said family spokesman Alan Eichler in a statement.

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Ingrid Michaelson records 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow' with Newtown children -- VIDEO

Ingrid Michaelson has joined students from Newtown, Conn. in releasing a recording of the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” as a response to the school shooting last month. Proceeds from the song — available for download now — benefit Newtown Youth Academy and United Way of Western Connecticut.

The song was recorded in the home studio of Connecticut residents Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz of Talking Heads and the Tom Tom Club. “Having the children come today with their parents, all of them having the idea that this was their gift to the other families of Sandy Hook, it was very enriching for us,” Weymouth said in a behind-the-scenes clip.

Watch the video below: READ FULL STORY

'Tennessee Waltz' singer Patti Page dies at 85

Patti Page, the genre-crossing songstress who became the biggest-selling female artist of the 1950s thanks to a string of now-classic songs, passed away on January 1. She was 85 years old.

Page was born Clara Ann Fowler, and began her singing career in 1948 with the release of her first single “Confess,” which became a hit despite the fact that the much better known Doris Day also had a recording of the same song out at around the same time. “Confess” features Page’s voice double-tracked (a relatively new approach to recording at the time), and the practice became something of a trademark for her.

She scored her first platinum-selling single in 1950 (“With My Eyes Wide Open, I’m Dreaming”), and followed it with 14 others through 1965, including staples “Tennessee Waltz,” “All My Love (Bolero),” and “(How Much Is That) Doggie in the Window.”

Though Page sang traditional pop, she managed to maintain her hold on the charts even after the rock and roll revolution took hold in the 1960s. Some of her biggest hits, including “Old Cape Cod” and “Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte,” charted during that time.

Page also had something of a revival in 2000 when she released Brand New Tennessee Waltz, an recording of many of her biggest songs with assists from country stars like Emmylou Harris and Trisha Yearwood.

Despite her timeless success, she only had one Grammy to her name (perhaps because she did much of her best work prior to the awards’ creation in 1959). She was set to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Grammys.

Read More on EW.com: 
Brand New Tennessee Waltz
That Doggie in the Window

'Rescue Me' singer Fontella Bass dies

Fontella Bass, a St. Louis-born soul singer who hit the top of the R&B charts with “Rescue Me” in 1965, has died.

The singer’s daughter, Neuka Mitchell, says Bass died at a St. Louis hospice Wednesday night of complications from a heart attack suffered three weeks ago. She was 72. Bass had also suffered several strokes since 2005.

Bass was born into a family with deep musical roots. Her mother was gospel singer Martha Bass, one of the Clara Ward Singers. Her younger brother, David Peaston, had a string of R&B hits in the 1980s and 1990s. Peaston died in February at age 54.

Her surviving family includes four children. Her husband, jazz trumpeter Lester Bowie, died in 1999.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Related:
Former RCA Records exec Meredith Israel Thomas passes away
Iron Butterfly bassist Lee Dorman dies at age 70
Friends and family gather for Jenni Rivera’s memorial

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