Singer Little Eva (full name: Eva Narcissus Boyd), died yesterday (April 10) in Kinston, N.C., after a long illness, according to her manager. Her exact age isn’t known but she was believed to be between 57 and 60.
As a teenager, Little Eva was discovered when she was baby-sitting for singer Carole King and her husband Gerry Goffin. They asked her to sing a demo of the song “The Loco-Motion,” which they had written together. After hearing the demo, they decided to release the song as a single, and it became a No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hit in 1962.
That same year Little Eva’s recording of “Keep Your Hands Off My Baby” reached No. 12 on the chart. “The Loco-Motion” was remade into another No. 1 by Grand Funk in 1974 and a No. 3 hit by Kylie Minogue in 1988.
Little Eva is survived by two daughters, a son, 15 grandchildren, two brothers, and three sisters. At deadline, funeral arrangements were incomplete.
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