Ben E. King, known for his popular song “Stand By Me”, died at the age of 76 last Thursday April 30, 2015. He is also known as one of the main singers of the RnB vocal group the “Drifters”. The legendary soul singer died at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. Not much details have been divulged regarding his death but it was reported that he died of a heart condition.
He is best known for singing and co-composing the soulful “Stand By Me” which reached top one position on the US Billboard Hot RnB Singles. The song has an overwhelming quantity of 400 recorded versions which can attest to its astounding popularity. Perhaps the most notable cover of this song is that of John Lennon – co-founder, singer and song writer of the Beatles, said to be the most successful band in the history of music. Most “Stand by Me” versions happened to reach the Billboard charts 9 times. The Library of Congress inducted King’s original version as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” around 5 weeks before the singer’s death. The song was so legendary that even though the song’s structure, which follows a common chord progression, was renamed into “Stand by Me changes” in honor of the song. This song has also been featured in the 1986 movie of the same title.
Before his death, he was seen active in his Stand by Me Foundation where he provide educational assistance to aspiring youths who deserve a future. He also performed his trademark song “Stand by Me” during the tribute to the late George Carlin seeing that he was the one of the late comedian’s favorite artists.
Hail to the King, baby.