‘Stand By Me’ Singer Ben E. King Dies at 76

Ben E. King

Beloved R&B and soul singer Ben E. King, famously known for his song “Stand By Me,” has died at the age of 76.

King’s publicist, Phil Brown, confirmed that the singer died on Thursday, according to the BBC. The Telegraph reports that King died of natural causes.

King rose to fame in the late 1950s with The Drifters, with songs including “There Goes My Baby” and “Save The Last Dance For Me.”

However, he found great success after he went solo with “Stand By Me,” in 1961. The single reached the US top five in 1961 and has charted nine times on the US Billboard 100 over the years– King’s version charted twice and covers by artists like John Lennon and Spyder Turner charted seven times.

Fellow musician Gary U.S. Bonds paid tribute to King by posting a message about the singer.

“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.  “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.”

Listen to “Stand By Me” below!

(Photo Credit:Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Songwriters Hall Of Fame)