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BEN E KING Soulful Singer of ‘Stand by Me,’ Dies at 76

Mr. King sang for the Drifters and found success as a solo performer with hits like “Spanish Harlem.” "Stand by Me" is a song originally performed by Ben E. King and written by King, Jerry Leiber, and Mike Stoller, inspired by the spiritual "Lord Stand by Me," plus two lines rooted in Psalms 46:2--3. There have been over 400 recorded versions of the song.

Benjamin Earl Nelson (born September 28, 1938), better known as Ben E. King, is an American soul singer. He is perhaps best known as the singer and co-composer of "Stand by Me," a U.S. Top 10 hit in both 1961 and later in 1986 (when it was used as the theme to the film of the same name) and a #1 hit in the UK in 1987, and as one of the principal lead singers of the R&B vocal group The Drifters.


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