1960s Music Icon Bobby Rydell Dies, Aged 79

Bobby Rydell Dead: The 1960s music icon has passed away, aged 79.
Credit: Alamy

1960s music icon Bobby Rydell, whose real name was Robert Louis Ridarelli, has died, aged 79. 

The singer, who was known for hits such as ‘Wild One,’ passed away while in a Philadelphia hospital, reports TMZ.

At the time of writing, Rydell’s cause of death has yet to be disclosed. However, a close friend has reportedly said the star had recently been diagnosed with pneumonia.

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Fans are taking to social media and paying tribute to the US pop idol.

One tweeted: “Oh no! Bobby Rydell died. He was my fave.”

Another added: “RIP Bobby Rydell. He was a great singer.”

“So sad to report that my pal, the legendary #BobbyRydell, just passed away at 79 years young. Rest In peace, my dear friend…,” a third wrote.

A fourth said: “RIP Bobby Rydell, you will certainly be missed. We will think of you every time we head to Wildwood and sing along to one of your songs. Much love to your family. #BobbyRydell.”

Author Stephen King also paid tribute, describing him as ‘the most talented of the 50s and early 60s teen idols’.

Rydell shot to fame at just eight years old when he won a contest that was set up by jazz bandleader Paul Whiteman.

Following his win, the musician went on to appear in Whiteman’s TV Talent Club show, which is believed to be around the time he changed his stage name.

As well as being known for his music, Rydell also made an impact on the big screen when he starred in the movie version of Bye Bye Birdie, alongside Dick Van Dyke.

The singer was reportedly the inspiration for many pieces of pop culture. Paul McCartney apparently once said that The Beatles’ hit ‘She Loves You’ came about because of Rydell.

The high school in Grease – Rydell High – is also said to be inspired by the icon.

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Written by Editorial