Pop singer and former teen idol Bobby Vee died Monday morning from complications of advanced Alzheimer’s disease in Rogers, Minn., his son, Jeff Velline, told the Associated Press. He was 73.
Vee died in hospice care surrounded by family.
Vee was born Robert Thomas Velline on April 30, 1943, in Fargo, N.D. He first rose to fame at age 15, after he and his band The Shadows volunteered to take the stage at a Moorhead, Minn., concert, following the infamous Feb. 3, 1959, plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. Richardson (aka The Big Bopper) on their way to the performance. Vee would eventually sign with Liberty Records.
Vee released more than 25 albums during his career, 38 Top 100 hits, and six gold singles, retiring in 2011 following his diagnosis with Alzheimer’s. He was known for hits such as “Take Good Care Of My Baby,” which hit No. 1 on the charts; “Rubber Ball”; “The Night Has a Thousand Eyes”; “Devil or Angel”; and “Come Back When You Grow Up.” He was also famously tied to Bob Dylan, whose career he helped launch. Vee and Dylan had maintained both a professional and personal friendship until his death.
Bergen’s wife of 50-plus years died last year of kidney failure. The two had four children together.
Funeral plans have yet to be announced.
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