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Orleans Co-Founder Larry Hoppen Dead at 61

Vocalist-guitarist sang on group's hit 'Still the One'

Larry Hoppen, Wells Kelly, Lance Hoppen and John Hall of Orleans, circa 1975
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
July 26, 2012 11:05 AM ET

Larry Hoppen, one of the co-founders and vocalist-guitarist for the Woodstock-based group Orleans, passed away Tuesday, the Times Herald-Record reports.

Hoppen's passing was initially announced on Wednesday in a post on his official Facebook page written by his wife, Patricia.

"For those who don't already know, Larry passed away yesterday," the note read. "For his fans, I am deeply sorry for YOUR loss. I know he will be missed. I will [ask] that my family's privacy be respected during this horrible time."

Orleans formed in Woodstock in 1972 with Hoppen, guitarist-vocalist John Hall and drummer-keyboardist Wells Kelly; the trio was later joined by Hoppen's brother Lance (bass) and Jerry Marotta (drums). Once called "the best unrecorded band in America" in Rolling Stone, this lineup would release the group's 1976 album Walking and Dreaming, which contained the Top 10 hit "Still the One." The band had two more top 20 singles: "Dance With Me" in 1975 and 1979's "Love Takes Time."

While Orleans lineup would shift, Larry Hoppen always remained a member. The group's last studio album was 2008's Obscurities. Hoppen also released two solo albums, HandMade and Looking for the Light, which was the flagship fundraising vehicle for his nonprofit Sunshine for HIV Kids, according to another post on his Facebook page

Correction: This story originally stated that Larry Hoppen co-wrote "Still the One." While he sang on the hit single, it was in fact written by Orleans' John Hall and Hall's then-wife Johanna. We regret the error.

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