‘Stand by Me’ singer Ben E King dies

Legedary soul singer Ben E King dies at 76

Legendary soul singer Ben E King has died aged 76
Legendary soul singer Ben E King has died aged 76

Legendary soul and R&B pioneer Ben E King, has died at the age of 76, it has emerged.

King, who was best known for his classic song "Stand By Me", began his career in music in the late Fifties, appearing with The Drifters on tracks "Save The Last Dance For Me" and "There Goes My Baby"

He scored a Top 5 hit in 1961 with "Stand By Me" after he went solo, but the track returned to the charts in the 1980s, reaching No 1 in the UK when the song was used as the theme of the coming-of-age film of the same name starring River Phoenix and Corey Feldman.

The song entered the US Billboard 100 nine times over the years – King’s version did so twice while covers by artists like John Lennon and Spyder Turner featured seven times, according to The Guardian.

Born Benjamin Earl Nelson in North Carolina, he moved to New York as a child and got involved in the burgeoning doo wop scene.

His first two solo singles, Spanish Harlem and Stand By Me, were huge hits and more followed but Stand By Me only topped the UK charts in 1987 after it featured in an advert for Levis jeans.