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SOUL LEGEND BEN E. KING DIES AT 76!

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Singer Ben E. King died Thursday, his agent said.NOAM GALAI/WIREIM—

Soul singer Ben E. King, best known for his 1961 hit ‘Stand By Me,’ has died. He was 76 years old.The North Carolina-born R&B legend died Thursday of natural causes, his agent told the Telegraph.King rose to fame in the 1950s as a member of the Drifters. The soul group produced hits such as “There Goes My Baby” and “Save The Last Dance For Me.”He later broke away and started his solo act. His 1961 hit “Stand By Me” quickly topped the U.S. charts. It became a top-10 hit again in 1986, when it was used in the film of the same name starring River Phoenix.

Ben E. kingMICHAEL OCHS ARCHIVESEnlarge
UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01:  Photo of Ben E KING; Posed studio portrait of Ben E King  (Photo by Gilles Petard/Redferns)GILLES PETARD/REDFERNS–

King was best known for his 1961 hit, ‘Stand by Me’

Fellow singer Gary U.S. Bonds paid tribute to the singer on Facebook early Friday morning.

“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,” he wrote. “Thank you Ben E. for your friendship and the wonderful legacy you leave behind.”

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