Jay Black, former lead singer of the 1960s pop-rock group Jay and the Americans, died Friday at age 82, his family revealed to Rolling Stone.
According to the statement, Black passed away from complications from pneumonia, and he also battled dementia in recent years.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Black, whose given name was David Blatt, joined Jay and the Americans after original lead singer Jay Trainor left the group in 1962, not long after the band had scored a #5 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 with “She Cried.”
Led by Black’s soaring voice, the band scored many more top-40 hits throughout the 1960s, its biggest coming in 1964 with “Come a Little Bit Closer,” which peaked at #3. Jay and the Americans also hit the top 10 in 1965 with “Cara Mia” and in 1969 with “This Magic Moment,” which reached #4 and #6, respectively.
Among the group’s other hits were “Let’s Lock the Door (And Throw Away the Key),” “Some Enchanted Evening,” “Sunday and Me” and “Walkin’ in the Rain,” which all cracked the top 20.
The band split up in 1973, and afterward, Black continued to tour as a solo artist, playing his final show in 2017.
Jay and the Americans reformed in 2006 with a new lead singer named “Jay.” The band paid homage to Black in a message posted on their Facebook page on Saturday.
“Today, we mourn the passing of David Blatt a/k/a Jay Black and we acknowledge the great successes we had with him both as a partner and as a lead singer,” the note reads. “We shared both wonderful and very contentious times, and much like an ex-wife, we are so proud of the beautiful children we created. We’ll always remember The Voice.”
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