ROGERS, Minn. (CelebrityAccess) — Bobby Vee, a clean-cut teen idol who scored hits with songs such as Rubber Ball, Take Good Care of My Baby and The Night Has a Thousand Eyes, has died. He was 73.
According to the Washington Post, Vee's son Jeff Velline confirmed the singer's death, stating that he died from complications of early onset Alzheimer's disease on Monday.
A native of Fargo, North Dakota, Vee, born Robert Thomas Velline, got his big break in the music industry as a result of a tragedy. When Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper died in a plane crash on February 3rd, they were traveling to a Winter Dance Party in Minnesota. Velline, then aged 15, gathered a group of school friends together and volunteered to fill in for the missing headliners. Their performance proved to be a success and propelled Vee into a career as a professional musician.
According to Billboard magazine, Vee would go on to record 38 hot chart hits during the 1960s, including 10 which cracked the top 10.
Vee also helped to give Bob Dylan his start in the music business. Vee gured Dylan, who at the time was using the nomme du geurre Elston Gunnn (SIC), to tour with Vee's band. The employment was brief but created a lasting friendship between the two. During a concert in 2013 where Vee was in the audience, Dylan praised his former boss and played a rendition of Vee's hit Suzie Baby.
Vee performed until 2011, when he revealed that he had been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease and retired from the limelight.
Survivors include four children, Jeffrey Velline of Avon, Minn., Tommy Velline of St. Cloud, Minn., Robby Velline of Prior Lake, Minn., and Jennifer Velline-Whittet of Buffalo, Minn.; and five grandchildren, the Post said. – Staff Writers