Jay Black, the lead singer of the 1960s rockabilly hitmakers Jay and The Americans has died at the age of 82.
It was confirmed by his family that the legendary frontman passed away on Friday (October 22) following complications with pneumonia exacerbated by dementia that the star had recently suffered with.
The distinctive crooner became such a staple of the vocal stylings of the era that he earned himself the nickname ‘The Voice’. It was singles like ‘Only in America’, ‘Cara Mia’, ‘Come a Little Bit Closer’ and ‘This Magic Moment’ that earned him the eponymous moniker.
Aside from these chart storming hits, Jay and The Americans are also renowned as being the opening band for The Beatles during their first US performance back in 1964 in Washington DC.
The famed band then broke up in 1973 and Jay Black pursued his own solo career, performing for the last time in 2017. This longevity exhibits how closely he held his fans. As his family told Rolling Stone: “New and old fans continued to marvel at the strength and range of Black’s voice through his last concert in 2017.”
Adding: “He had a special bond with his fans… He thought of them as family, knew many of their names, and would dedicate songs to them from the stage and meet with them after the show.”
The news of his passing was broken by his son, Jason Blatt, who posted on Facebook: “He was the source of so much joy and happiness for so many with his legendary voice and humour, touching so many lives around the world.”