SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Singer Ben E. King has died at the age of 76 of natural causes on Thursday.
The popular singer’s death was confirmed by his publicist Phil Brown.
The soul and R&B singer is best known for the 1961 classic hit song “Stand By Me.”
King started out singing out in the late 1950s with The Drifters, lending his voice to the hits “There Goes My Baby” and “Save the Last Dance For Me” among others.
The 1961 ballad “Spanish Harlem” gave King his first solo hit. “Stand By Me,” written with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, was chosen one of the Songs of the Century by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Fellow singer Gary U.S. Bonds offered condolences via his Facebook page saying,
“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 – Mr. Ben E. King. 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.”