1960s pop idol Bobby Vee has died at the age of 73 from advanced Alzheimer’s disease. Vee was diagnosed with the disease in 2011, the year he performed his final show, and spent the last 13 months in hospice care. His son, Jeff Velline, said Vee passed peacefully and surrounded by family, but it was “the end of a long hard road.” Velline added that Vee was “a person who brought joy all over the world. That was his job.”

Bobby Vee got his start as a 15-year-old stand-in for Buddy Holly in Moorhead, Minnesota on February 3, 1959, the “day the music died.”


circa 1960: American pop singer and teen idol Bobby Vee sketching on his bed. He had numerous hit singles during the early '60s including 'Rubber Ball'. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

circa 1960: American pop singer and teen idol Bobby Vee sketching on his bed. He had numerous hit singles during the early ’60s including ‘Rubber Ball’. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

[PHOTOS] 1960s Pop Singer Bobby Vee: The Early Years

RELATED: A Look Back: February 3, 1959 — ‘The Day the Music Died’


Vee had 38 songs make their mark on the Hot 100 charts — 10 in the top 20 — including “Take Good Care of My Baby,” “Run to Him,” “The Night Has a Thousand Eyes,” and “Come Back When You Grow Up.” Vee also gave a young Bob Dylan, known by his stage name Elston Gunn, his start with a brief stint in his touring band. Dylan spoke fondly of Vee, notably during a concert in 2013 with Vee in attendance.

“I lived here a while back, and since that time I’ve played all over the world, with all kinds of people. Everybody from Mick Jagger to Madonna and everybody in between,” said Dylan. “But the most beautiful person I’ve ever been on the stage with was a man who’s here tonight, who used to sing a song called ‘Suzie Baby.’ I’m gonna say that Bobby Vee is actually here tonight. Maybe you could show your appreciation with just a round of applause. So we’ve been trying to do this song, like I’ve done it with him before once or twice.”

 

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