So sad! 1960’s teen idol Bobby Vee has passed away after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was absolutely huge in his heyday, with a string of pop hits that made him his generation’s Justin Bieber. Keep reading for his untimely passing at just 73.
Oh no, we’ve got yet another tragic passing and this time it’s 1960’s teen idol Bobby Vee, who was best known for hits like “Rubber Ball” and “Take Good Care of my Baby,” as well as giving a young Bob Dylan his start. He had endured a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease, which he was diagnosed with in 2011.
He was born Robert Velline in Fargo, ND in 1973 and got his first big break thanks to a massive tragedy. In Feb. 1959 when Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper were killed in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa, the next scheduled event on their Winter Party tour was in Moorhead, MN near where Bobby lived. He was just 15-years-old and the ambitious teen gathered up some school pals and formed the band The Shadows and headlined the event. It turned out to be a raging success and gave Bobby his big start in the music biz.
Six months after The Shadows formed, they landed a record deal and had their first Billboard a year later in 1960 with “Devil or Angel.” It was also during this time that a young Bob Dylan briefly played with the Shadows and suggested Bobby change his last name to Vee, which he did. He broke out on his own and had a string of hits including, “The Night Has a Thousand Eyes,” “Come Back When You Grow Up,” “Please Don’t Ask about Barbara,” and “Punish Her.” While his biggest smashes were in the early 1960’s, Bobby continued his recording career until he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2011.
Bobby and his late wife Karen were married for more than 50 years and had four children. His son Jeff put out the statement regarding his dad’s passing, saying that the singer died peacefully in his Minnesota home surrounded by family members and that it had been, “the end of a long hard road.”
Our thoughts go out to Bobby’s family, friends and fans.