Soul singer Ben King, who is best known for his 1961 hit “Stand By Me,” has passed away, according to published reports. He was 76-years-old. His cause of death has not been revealed.
King was born Benjamin Earl Nelson in North Carolina but moved to New York during his adult years and got involved in the doo-wop scene. Before branching out on his own, King was a member of the Drifters, known for songs like “There Goes My Baby” and “Save the Last Dance For Me.”
He later recorded his first solo song “Spanish Harlem” but struck gold with “Stand By Me,” which landed in the top five on the Billboard charts. The song was voted one of the top 25 songs of the 20th century by the Recording Industry Association of America and was later inducted into the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress in March of 2015.
During his career, King score 12 top 10 hits and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.