Elizabeth Chuck and Emmanuelle Saliba, NBC NEWS
(NBC News) — R&B legend Ben E. King, best known for his hit song “Stand By Me,” died Thursday, his publicist told NBC News. He was 76.
King, whose real name was Benjamin Earl Nelson, had a string of hits that cracked the Billboard Top 40 in the 1960s and 1970s. But none were as popular as “Stand By Me,” which was voted one of the Songs of the Century by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Just last month, the 1961 track was among 25 recordings selected for preservation by the Library of Congress in its national registry.
King’s publicist, Phil Brown, confirmed that he had died, but did not immediately provide any other details.