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Ben E King, singer of Stand By Me, has died.

The singer was 76.

BEN E KING, the singer best known for the soul classic Stand By Me, has died.

PA-8688560 AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

The 76-year-old died of natural causes on Thursday, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Originally from North Carolina, he moved to New York in 1947 at the age of 9.

King rose to fame as the singer with The Drifters and had a number of hits in the late 1950s with the group, including There Goes My Baby and Save The Last Dance For Me.

He went on to have a number of hits as a solo artist, including I (Who Have Nothing) and Spanish Harlem, but his reputation was cemented with the 1961 release of Stand By Me.

The single has returned to the charts several times over the years, including following its use in the film of the same name, as well a number of cover versions.

The song was the fourth most-played track of the 20th century on US radio and television.

King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his work in The Drifters. Unusually, he was also nominated as a solo artist.

Adriano Cruzado / YouTube

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