Ben E. King.

The R&B and soul singer was 76 when he died Thursday of natural causes.

Born in North Carolina and raised in Harlem, New York, King started his career with The Drifters releasing hits like "There Goes My Baby" and "Save The Last Dance For Me." But it is undoubtedly with "Stand By Me" that King leaves his enduring musical mark.

With the unmistakeable bassline and the soulfully sweet lyrics, the 1961 song was an immediate hit. Over the course of King's life, the song charted nine times on the U.S. Billboard 100, with the help of the eponymous 1986 coming of age film, and has been covered by some 400 artists, from John Lennon to boxing legend Muhammad Ali.

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Just last month, "Stand By Me" was marked for preservation by the Library of Congress, an honor King said was one of the greatest of his life.

"To think that my children's children's children will look at that one day and say wow, Gramp did that, that's a feeling."

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