Singer Andy Williams has passed away at age 84.
Williams was best known for his crooning abilities on his most famous hit “Moon River” during his 75 year career. Sadly in 2011 he announced that he was battling bladder cancer, but told fans that it wasn’t a death sentence and he was going to get through it. While he did last another year, Andy lost that battle Tuesday at his home in Branson, MO.
Way back in the day, it was family groups that shined in the music world. And before The Osmonds and The Jackson 5, there were Williams and his brothers in the 1930’s. Andy went solo though in the 50’s after the brothers decided to hang it up as a group. This proved well for Andy as he went on to have a successful career earning 18 gold records and three platinum songs. He also got his own television show, The Andy Williams Show.
That show ran on NBC from 1962-67, took a break and returned to go from 1969-71. Throughout the show’s run, it saw guests like the aforementioned Osmonds and Jacksons, as well as the late Phyllis Diller, Bing Crosby and Ella Fitzgerald. The show and Williams collected five Emmys altogether.
Andy was also a favorite among politicians. “A national treasure,” is what President Ronald Reagan called Williams’ voice. He was also close with the Kennedys, singing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” at Robert F. Kennedy’s funeral after he was shot during the 1968 presidential campaign.
This American legend started singing at just three years old and made a career out of it for 75 years. He will be missed by fans, peers and his family, which includes his wife Debbie and his three kids, Robert, Noelle and Christian.
May he rest in peace.