Ben E. King, who passed away on April 30th after a brief illness, will forever be linked to his 1961 classic "Stand By Me." The former Drifters singer wrote the tune with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, and it became such an iconic work that it eclipsed nearly everything else from King's catalog. But the singer had an amazing run in the Drifters that earned him a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and his career continued for over five decades afterwards. Here's a photo journey through his whole history.
Charlie Thomas, Ben E. King, Dock Green and Elsbeary Hobbs of the Drifters in 1959.
Ben E. King onstage in 1960, one year before "Stand by Me" hit the airwaves.
Ben E. King circa 1963, the year he landed on the charts with "I (Who Have Nothing)."
Ben E King performs on 'Ready Steady Go,' filmed in London in 1966.
Ben E. King posing for a portrait in 1970.
Ben E. King in Harlem in 1973.
Ben E. King performing in 1987.
Ben E. King performing with Ringo Starr at Wembley Arena in London on June 6th, 1987.
Ben E. King onstage in 1995.
Ben E. King during Ahmet Ertegun's tribute at Lincoln Center in New York City in 2007.
Ben E. King performs with Prince Royce during the 11th annual Latin Grammy Awards in Las Vegas on November 11th, 2010.
Ben E. King performs during the 34th Annual John Lennon Tribute Benefit Concert in New York on December 5th, 2014.