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