Bobby Vee, the 1960s teen idol remembered for hits including “Take Good Care of My Baby”, “Rubber Ball”, and “Suzie Baby”, has died of advanced Alzheimer’s disease, the Associated Press reports. He was 73.
Vee, born Robert Thomas Velline, was an influential performer whose legacy extended far beyond his own body of work. His career began under somewhat tragic circumstances when Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper all died in a 1959 plane crash. Vee was only 15 at the time, but he answered a call to fill in for Holly and his band at a local show and quickly rose to become a nationally renowned pop singer.
Early on in Vee’s career, a young musician named Robert Zimmerman played a brief stint in his band and the two became lifelong friends. Zimmerman, who later changed his name to Bob Dylan, reportedly convinced Vee to adopt a stage name as well. Dylan performed a cover of Vee’s first single, “Suzie Baby”, at a 2013 concert in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Vee was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2011. Though he never toured again, he released his final album, The Adobe Sessions, in 2014.