Pop idol Bobby Vee, the boyish, grinning 1960s singer whose career was born when he took a Midwestern stage as a teenager to fill in after the 1959 plane crash that killed rock ‘n’ roll stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, has died. He was 73.
Bobby Vee, best known for hits for hits including Rubber Ball, Take Good Care of My Baby and The Night Has a Thousand Eyes.the chart-topping “Take Good Care of My Baby” and who helped a young Bob Dylan get his start, died Monday of advanced Alzheimer’s disease, said his son, Jeff Velline. Vee was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2011, and performed his last show that year.
Vee released more than 25 albums during his career, retiring in 2011 after being diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
Vee’s son Jeff Velline said the singer died peacefully surrounded by family on Monday.
It was “the end of a long hard road”, Mr Velline said.
He described his father as “a person who brought joy all over the world”, adding: “That was his job.”
Besides his clear, ringing voice, Vee also was a skilled rhythm guitarist and occasional songwriter. He racked up six gold singles, but saw his hits diminish with the British Invasion of The Beatles and other English groups in the mid-1960s.
Vee kept recording into the 2000s, and maintained a steady touring schedule. But he began having trouble remembering lyrics during performances, and he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2011. He performed his last show that year, billed only as his retirement, during an annual community fundraiser that his family holds near their home in St. Joseph, Minnesota, about 65 miles northwest of Minneapolis. But he didn’t announce his diagnosis until a year later on his website.