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'60s Teen Pop Singer, 'Bye Bye Birdie' Star Dead at 79

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Former 1960s teen idol Bobby Rydell died of pneumonia complications unrelated to COVID-19 at 79, according to a statement made on Tuesday by Rydell’s marketing and event coordinator, Maria Novey.

Rydell’s career spanned more than six decades. The talented singer released his first hit single, “Kissin’ Time” in 1959. It was this song that launched him into stardom.

He made his film debut in 1963 as the star of “Bye Bye Birdie” and would later become the high school namesake in the 1978 musical “Grease,” starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.

Rydell passed away in Abington Jefferson Hospital in Abington, Pa., according to the statement.

Friends and colleagues of Rydell took to Twitter to remember the legendary entertainer.

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“Bobby Rydell passed on. What a shame! He was the most talented of the 50s and early 60s teen idols. Well…maybe a tie with Bobby Darin,” said King.

Jeanine Pirro, judge and co-host of Fox News show “The Five,” tweeted along with a picture of her and Rydell “With Bobby Rydell in March of 2017- a music icon and teen heartthrob and a great American.”

“May he continue to serenade beyond the pearly gates. RIP,” she added.

“I am absolutely heartbroken at the loss of my dear Pallie Bobby Rydell. He was an incredible entertainer and absolutely one of the funniest people I’ve ever known.” Deana Martin, American performer and daughter of Dean Martin, said.

“Rest well Bobby. We love you, Deana Martin,” she added.

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In 1985, Rydell joined Frankie Avalon and Fabian to form The Golden Boys. The popular trio performed for several decades.

His accomplishments have inspired several adaptations, including an Oscar winner in 2018. Actor Von Lewis portrayed Rydell’s iconic performance at NYC’s Copacabana nightclub in the 91st Academy Award-winning film, “Green Book.”

Did you ever listen to Rydell's music?

Rydell is survived by his wife, two children and five grandchildren.

Rydell credited his long life to a liver and kidney donation made to him in 2012. He advocated for The Gift of Life, a non-profit organization whose goal is to help families recover from organ transplants.

His family intends to keep his mission alive by asking those who are able to become organ donors to do so and to also consider donating to The Gift of Life.

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Melanie joined The Western Journal as an editorial intern. She is pursuing an MA in interdisciplinary studies at Arizona State University while illustrating a children's book. She especially enjoys entertainment-related topics.
Melanie joined The Western Journal as an editorial intern. She is pursuing an MA in interdisciplinary studies at Arizona State University while illustrating a children's book. She especially enjoys entertainment-related topics.




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