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Alex Chilton dead at 59

March 17, 2010 |  9:25 pm


Singer and guitarist Alex Chilton, known for his influential work with the bands the Box Tops and Big Star, has died. He was 59.
    Chilton's longtime friend John Fry says that Chilton died Wednesday at a hospital in New Orleans after experiencing what appeared to be heart problems.
    Fry, the owner of Memphis-based Ardent Studios, says he had spoken to Chilton's wife and that she's very distressed. Fry said: “It was just a sudden and unexpected event.”
    Chilton had been scheduled to perform with Big Star on Saturday at the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas.
    The festival's creative director, Brent Grulke, says Chilton's gift for melody was second to none.
    Grulke says: “Alex Chilton always messed with your head, charming and amazing you while doing so.”

We'll have more later at the Pop & Hiss blog, and a full obituary will appear at

-- Associated Press

Photo: Alex Chilton, center, and the Box Tops.