R.I.P. Ben E. King. The Soul And R&B Pioneer Passes At Age 76
R&B pioneer Ben E. King passed away late last night, at the age of 76. Though he's certainly best known for his soul standard "Stand By Me," King's legacy is not limited to his chart-topping hit. Getting his beak wet as a member of doo wop groups like The Five Crowns and later, the re-formed Drifters, King had a string of hits including "This Magic Moment"; "Save The Last Dance For Me" and "There Goes My Baby," cementing his place in the musical canon as one of soul music's greatest crooners before he ever set off on his solo career. Then, as a leading man, King graced the world with one of the 20th century's most empowering anthems, which has been adapted as a meditation on the power of community in the battle for civil rights in this country and abroad, ringing louder than ever as Baltimore burns in the wake of its own unrest, sparked by the murder of 25 year-old Freddie Gray at the hands of the city's police department. While we have yet to receive word on the the definitive cause of King's death, we will always have "Stand By Me" a guiding light in that battle, forever mourning this loss and eternally celebrating one of r&b's most iconic voices. RIP Ben E. King.