'Bye Bye Birdie' star and 'Wild One' singer Bobby Rydell has died aged 79.
The 60s' teen idol passed away at Jefferson Abington Hospital in Abington, Pennsylvania on Tuesday (05.04.22) from "non-COVID related pneumonia complications," a statement on his official Facebook page read.
Born Robert Ridarelli, the rock 'n' roll singer and actor started out as an entertainer on Paul Whiteman's music variety show 'TV Teen Club' in 1950.
He shot to fame in 1959, when his first hit on Cameo-Parkway records, 'Kissin' Time', made Billboard's Hot 100 Hits in the US.
Rydell sold more than 25 albums. His biggest hits include 'Wild One', 'Volare', 'Wildwood Days' and 'The Cha-Cha-Cha'.
Notably, his 1963 hit 'Forget Him' inspired Sir Paul McCartney, also 79, to pen the Beatles’ 1964 classic 'She Loves You'.
Rydell was also part of the doo-wop group Golden Boys with Fabian and Frankie Avalon.
He was so popular in his heyday that the high school in 1978's 'Grease', Rydell High, was named after him.
As well as starring alongside Dick Van Dyke and Janet Leigh in the musical film 'Bye Bye Birdie'as Hugo Peabody in 1963, Rydell also appeared on the small screen in shows such as 'Vacation Playhouse', 'The Red Skelton Hour' and 'The Facts of Life'.
In his 2016 memoir, 'Teen Idol on the Rocks: A Tale of Second Chances', Rydell revealed he had a double organ transplant in 2012.
He became an advocate of The Gift of Life, a nonprofit assisting families of those who have undergone transplants.
He also opened up about his battles with alcohol addiction and depression following the passing of his first wife, Camille Ridarelli.
Rydell is survived by his spouse, Linda J. Hoffman, son Robert Ridarelli, daughter Jennifer Dulin, and five grandchildren.
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