The Commercial Appeal. He was 59. Chilton found fame at the age of 16 as the singer of the ‘60s pop-soul band the Box Tops, who scored a No. 1 hit with “The Letter.” Following the dissolution of the Box Tops in 1970, Chilton would go on to form the Memphis-based Big Star with Jody Stephens, Chris Bell, and Andy Hummel. Although their albums — #1 Record, Radio City, and Third/Sisters Lovers — never achieved great commercial success, the band was influential to fellow musicians and ultimately recognized as a power-pop pioneer. (The Replacements paid tribute to Chilton on Pleased to Meet Me with the song “Alex Chilton,” and That ’70s Show used a cover of Big Star’s “In The Street” as its theme song.) Chilton embarked on a solo career in the mid-’70s that produced albums including Like Flies on Sherbert and High Priest, and re-formed Big Star in the ‘90s. The band was scheduled to play Saturday night at South by Southwest.Singer-guitarist Alex Chilton, who made a name for himself as a member of the Box Tops and Big Star, and later as a solo artist, died Wednesday at a New Orleans Hospital, reports
Posted March 17 2010 — 10:09 PM EDT
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