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Bobby Vee dead at 73

ShowbizBy Sunday World
Bobby Vee dead at 73

Bobby Vee has died.

The 'Take Good Care Of My Baby' singer - who helped Bob Dylan get his start in music - passed away on Monday (24.10.16) at the age of 73, after a long battle with advanced Alzheimer's disease.

His son Jeff Velline revealed the singer died peacefully, surrounded by his family.

He said it was "the end of a long hard road" and described his father as "a person who brought joy all over the world," adding, "that was his job".

Speaking about his father's passion for music, he said: "He never lost that love for music. Even when he couldn't play it anymore and couldn't sing, he would hum. The music was a powerful piece that remained, right on until the end."

The musician retired following his Alzheimer's diagnosis in 2011 and had been in hospice care for the past few weeks.

Before that, he was in memory care at the Wellstead of Rogers & Diamondcrest near Minneapolis for over a year.

Bobby was born Robert Velline in North Dakota in 1943.

He was just 15 when he took to the stage in Moorhead, Minnesota in 1959, with his band The Shadows, as one of the acts who volunteered to fill in after a plane crash killed rock 'n' roll stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. 'The Big Bopper' Richardson.

Recalling his big break in a 1999 interview, he said: "I didn't have any fear right then. The fear didn't hit me until the spotlight came on, and then I was just shattered by it. I didn't think that I'd be able to sing. If I opened my mouth, I wasn't sure anything would come out."

Some of his best-known songs include 'Run to Him', 'Rubber Ball', 'The Night Has A Thousand Eyes', 'Devil or Angel', 'Come Back When You Grow Up' and 'Punish Her'.

Bob Dylan got his start in Vee's band and called him "the most meaningful person I'd ever been on the stage with".

Writing in his memoir, 'Chronicles: Volume One', Dylan said: "I'd always thought of him as a brother."

Speaking after Bobby's death, his son Tommy said: "My dad was taken aback by all of that. I don't think he realised the extent of influence that he had, but he always appreciated and loved the relationships."

Vee's wife of more than 50 years, Karen, died of kidney failure in 2015 at age 71. They had four children together.