Bobby Hatfield, half of legendary vocal duo the Righteous Brothers, was found dead yesterday (Nov. 5) in a Kalamazoo, Mich., hotel, police said. Hatfield, 63, was found in his hotel room by staffers a
Bobby Hatfield, half of legendary vocal duo the Righteous Brothers, was found dead yesterday (Nov. 5) in a Kalamazoo, Mich., hotel, police said. Hatfield, 63, was found in his hotel room by staffers after he did not respond to a wake-up call before a show at Western Michigan University.
His body was taken to the Kalamazoo County Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy and a statement was to be issued later, police reported.
Hatfield and partner Bill Medley met in Orange County, Calif., and performed together for 42 years. With producer Phil Spector providing his trademark "wall of sound," the duo produced a string of hits in the 1960s, including "Unchained Melody" and "(You're My) Soul and Inspiration."
But "Lovin' Feeling," released in 1964, was their biggest hit, and industry experts rank it as the most-played radio song of all time.
The two split for a time in the late 1960s, but reunited and had a few hits in the mid-1970s. Their star rose again in 1990, when "Unchained Melody" was used in the film "Ghost." Medley and Hatfield had continued to tour and perform a few months a year in Las Vegas.
The two were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year. In a colorful speech during which he often sang snippets of the Righteous Brothers' hits, inductor Billy Joel marveled at the duo's range and power: "Sometimes people with blue eyes transcend the limitations of what their color and their culture is supposed to be. Sometimes white people can actually be soulful!"
Hatfield is survived by his wife and four children.
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