Ben E King: tributes pour in for late soul singer

Following the news that R&B legend Ben E King had passed away as the result of natural causes, tributes soon began pouring in for the 76-year-old. Oscar-nominated songwriter Diane Warren wrote on social media site Twitter: "Oh no, RIP Ben E King, one of the best singers ever and is there a better song ever written or sung than (Lieber+Stollers') Stand By Me?"

British band Lighthouse Family paid tribute by simply posting lyrics from Ben E's most popular hit Stand By Me, writing: "When the night has come, And the land is dark, And the moon is the only light we'll see. No I won't be afraid, No I won't be afraid. RIP Ben E King."

Many other famous faces also made reference to Ben E's rendition of Stand By Me, which was first released in 1962 and enjoyed a three-week spell at number one in the UK, including author Salman Rushdie, who simply tweeted the video for the song, and added: "Thanks, Ben E King."

Ben E, who was born Benjamin Earl Nelson in Henderson, North Carolina, is also known for tracks including There Goes My Baby and Save The Last Dance For Me.

Ben E King in 2014

Blues singer Gary "U.S." Bonds was one of the first to break the news, writing a heartfelt message on his Facebook page and sending his best wishes to the musician's partner Betty.

"With an extremely heavy heart, I must say goodbye to one of the sweetest, gentlest and gifted souls that I have had the privilege of knowing and calling my friend for more than 50 years - Mr. Ben E. King," he wrote.

"Speaking for myself, my family & my Roadhouse Rockers family, I can tell you that Ben E. will be missed more than words can say. Our sincere condolences go out to Betty and the entire family. Thank you Ben E. for your friendship and the wonderful legacy you leave behind."

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