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Ben E. King, most known for his song “Stand By Me” died on Thursday at the age of 76.

King’s publicist confirmed the news to HipHollywood on Friday morning. Ben apparently passed away of natural causes inside his New Jersey home.

“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,” former Blues musician Gary US Bonds wrote on Facebook. “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.

In the  late 1950’s, King rose to fame with The Drifters, delivering classic songs like “There Goes My Baby” and “This Magic Moment.”  But it was his 1961 “Stand By Me” that really took his music career to the next level.

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EXCLUSIVES

Girl Power Prevails At The 2017 American Music Awards

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Music’s most amazing night went down Sunday at the Microsoft Theater in L.A. and we have to say the night was all about the ladies!

That’s right the 45th American Music Awards had some major moments and some major girl power starting with Pink and Kelly Clarkson.

The duo got the show started singing R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts”, but it was their solo performances that had fans going nuts.

Kelly Clarkson returned to the stage and had everyone on their feet with a medley of her classic tracks and new single “Love So Soft.”

While Pink took her career to new heights leaping off the side of a building while performing her hit single “Beautiful Trauma.”

Christina Aguilera, paid tribute to Whitney Houston with a commemorative performance for the 25th anniversary of The Bodyguard.

But the #Majah moment of the night had to be Diana Ross. The Motown legend was given the Lifetime Achievement Award, and performed some of her greatest hits before accepting the honor.

 

Photos by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

 

 

 

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