Ben E. King

American musician (1938–2015) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Benjamin Earl King[1] (né Nelson; September 28, 1938 – April 30, 2015) was an American soul and R&B singer and record producer.

Quick facts: Ben E. King, Background information, Birth na...
Ben E. King
King in the 1960s
King in the 1960s
Background information
Birth nameBenjamin Earl Nelson
Born(1938-09-28)September 28, 1938
Henderson, North Carolina, U.S.
OriginHarlem, New York, U.S.
DiedApril 30, 2015(2015-04-30) (aged 76)
Hackensack, New Jersey, U.S.
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter, record producer
  • Vocals
  • piano
Years active1958–2015

He rose to prominence as one of the principal lead singers of the R&B vocal group The Drifters, notably singing the lead vocals of one of their biggest global hit singles (and only U.S. No. 1 hit), "Save the Last Dance for Me".[2] As a soloist, King is best known as the singer and co-composer of "Stand by Me", which became a US Top 10 hit, both in 1961 and later in 1986 (when it was used as the theme to the film of the same name), and a number one hit in the United Kingdom in 1987. It was also placed on the RIAA's list of Songs of the Century.

Along with "Stand By Me", King's songs "There Goes My Baby" and "Spanish Harlem" also appeared on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's list of 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.[3] His single "Supernatural Thing" also reached the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100. King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, as a member of the Drifters, and has been nominated as a solo artist.[4] Additionally, he was inducted alongside the Drifters into Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2000,[5] as well as the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012 (solo).[6]