Ben E King: Stand By Me singer dies at the age of 76

King's publicist confirms the R&B legend and Stand By Me singer died this week.

R &B legend Ben E King has died at the age of 76. 

The singer's publicist Phil Brown told BBC News that the singer died yesterday (April 30) of natural causes.

King - Born Benjamin Earl Nelson - started his career in the late 1950s with The Drifters, singing hits including Save The Last Dance For Me and There Goes My Baby.

He later embarked on a solo career, scoring a Top 5 hit with Stand By Me in 1961. The song originally peaked at Number 27 in the UK before hitting Number 1 on the Official Singles Chart with a re-release in 1987 when the song was used in the film of the same name and a TV advert.

King's other UK hits included First Taste Of Love, Amor and his debut album Spanish Harlem.

View Ben E King's full Official Chart History

Musician Gary US Bonds wrote on Facebook that King was "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".

BBC Radio 2 DJ Bob Harris said on Twitter: "So sad to hear that Ben E King has passed away. More than almost anyone, he fired and inspired my love of music. #StandByMe #ThereGoesMyBaby."

Meanwhile, legendary songwriter Diane Warren tweeted: Oh no RIP Ben E King, one of the best singers ever and is there a better song ever written or sung than than (Lieber+Stollers') Stand By Me?"

Watch Ben E King perform Stand By Me below: 

Photo: Mephisto/Rex

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