R&B legend Ben E King dies at 76
1 May 2015
From the section Entertainment & Arts
Ben E King received an award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012
R&B and soul singer Ben E King, best known for the classic song Stand By Me, has died at the age of 76.
King started his career in the late 1950s with The Drifters, singing on hits including There Goes My Baby and Save The Last Dance For Me.
After going solo, he hit the US top five with Stand By Me in 1961.
It returned to the charts in the 1980s, including a three-week spell at number one in the UK, following its use in the film of the same name and a TV advert.
The song has charted nine times on the US Billboard 100 over the years – King’s version twice and seven times with covers by artists like John Lennon and Spyder Turner.
It was also sampled for Sean Kingston’s 2007 number one single Beautiful Girls.
In 1999, the BMI announced that the song, written by King with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, was the fourth most-played track of the 20th Century on US radio and TV.
Earlier this year, the US Library of Congress added it to the National Recording Registry, declaring that “it was King’s incandescent vocal that made it a classic”.
King’s other hits included Spanish Harlem, Amor, Don’t Play That Song (You Lied) and Supernatural Thing – Part I.
Ben E King had six songs in the US Billboard top 40 between 1961 and 1975
Source:: BBC Entertainment