Ben E. King, born Benjamin Earl Nelson on September 28, 1938, in Henderson, North Carolina, was an iconic American soul and R&B singer who gained worldwide fame as the lead singer for The Drifters and later as a solo artist. His velvety smooth voice and emotional delivery made him one of the most beloved vocalists of his time.

Ben E. King’s career took off in the late 1950s when he joined The Drifters, a highly successful doo-wop and R&B group. As the lead singer, he recorded some of the group’s biggest hits, including “Save the Last Dance for Me,” “This Magic Moment,” and “There Goes My Baby.” King’s distinctive voice and heartfelt delivery helped propel The Drifters to stardom, earning them a string of chart-topping hits.

In 1960, Ben E. King embarked on a successful solo career, signing with Atlantic Records. His debut single, “Spanish Harlem,” released in 1960, became an instant classic and showcased King’s exceptional vocal range and emotional depth. The song peaked at number 15 on the UK Singles Chart and solidified King’s status as a solo artist to watch.

One of Ben E. King’s most enduring hits came in 1961 with the release of “Stand by Me.” This timeless ballad, written by King along with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, not only topped the charts in the United States but also became a massive success in the UK, where it reached number 1 on the UK Singles Chart. “Stand by Me” is now regarded as a soul music masterpiece and has been covered by numerous artists over the years.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Ben E. King continued to release hit songs, including “Amor,” “Don’t Play That Song (You Lied),” and “I (Who Have Nothing).” His soulful voice and impeccable phrasing endeared him to audiences around the world. King’s music resonated with listeners, blending elements of R&B, soul, and gospel to create a unique sound that stood the test of time.

In addition to his solo career, Ben E. King also collaborated with other artists, including Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett, further cementing his legacy in the world of soul music. His influence extended beyond his own recordings, with his songs being covered by a wide range of artists across different genres.

Ben E. King’s legacy as a music icon is undeniable, with his contributions to soul and R&B music earning him a revered place in music history. His smooth vocals, heartfelt lyrics, and timeless melodies continue to inspire artists and audiences alike.

**UK Hits:**
1. “Spanish Harlem” – 1960 (No. 15)
2. “Stand by Me” – 1961 (No. 1)
3. “Amor” – 1961 (No. 38)
4. “Don’t Play That Song (You Lied)” – 1962 (No. 7)
5. “I (Who Have Nothing)” – 1963 (No. 29)

1. “Spanish Harlem” – 1961
2. “Don’t Play That Song!” – 1962
3. “Young Boy Blues” – 1964
4. “Ben E. King Sings for Soulful Lovers” – 1962

**Awards and Achievements:**
– Grammy Award (as a member of The Drifters) for the recording of “There Goes My Baby”
– Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Drifters
– Placed in the Vocal Group Hall of Fame as a member of The Drifters
– “Stand by Me” inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame

🤞Don’t miss new stories!

We don’t spam! Read our Privacy Policy for more info.