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Alex Chilton, Rock Star, Dies

Alex Chilton, the frontman for the 1970s power pop band Big Star, died Wednesday at 59.

Big Star, which disbanded in 1974 but regrouped in the early 1990s, was a critically recognized rock group whose music influenced bands such as R.E.M, the Gin Blossoms, and Teenage Fanclub.

Their song, "In The Street," was the theme music for the popular sitcom "That 70s Show."

The band also had success with their record, "September Gurls."

Leave your memories about Alex Chilton below. Was he your cult music hero? Did you have a crush on the teen music idol while he was leading Box Tops? Let us know...

By T. Rees Shapiro  |  March 18, 2010; 10:29 AM ET
Categories:  Musicians  | Tags: Alex Chilton, Big Star, Power Pop  
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I'm crushed by his death. Big Star's music was and to this day, their live performances have been astonishing.

Going to go home and listen to the box set tonight.

RIP, Alex.

Posted by: ellinwoods | March 18, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

I had the pleasure of meeting Alex when my sons band opened for Big Star at the Filmore in San Francisco, What a kind and gentle person he was, and such a huge talent, his passing has left the music world spinning. RIP Alex you will be sorely missed.

Posted by: scott4me | March 18, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I did not realize Mr. Chilton was a talented musician. I have always been impressed with his line of automotive how-to manuals. His work has helped me out of innumerable car fixes. Chilton will be missed by home garage mechanics everywhere.

Posted by: janedoe20810 | March 18, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

An incredible talent. Too bad so few people know about the legend of Big Star or Alex Chilton. Their first disc with Chris Bell is an all time classic. calls Big Star the quintessential American power pop band and one of the most mythic and influential cult acts in all of rock & roll. Whew. RIP.

Posted by: Rocky420 | March 18, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I discovered Alex Chilton and Big Star, as so many others probably did, through the Replacements song "Alex Chilton."

I never made the connection between the Box Tops and Alex Chilton until today, and never knew that the song "The Letter" which I've always enjoyed, was one of his.

Posted by: bnh123 | March 18, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Alex Chilton of The Boxtops and Big Star died yesterday. He was the good friend and mentor to MY good friend, mentor, and producer Fran Kowalski.

The younger generation probably knows Alex's work best from the opening credits of "That 70's Show", but my favorite story about Alex comes from one Fran told me about Mr. Chilton's time recording with the Box Tops.

Alex wanted to have a manly voice for the song he had to record the next day. The problem was that he was only 16-years-old at the time. To channel the gravelly tone he was seeking, he decided to sleep outside all night in a cold, wet, field.

The next morning, he woke up with a hoarse voice that would have worried any teenager's mother.

Later that day the pop-soul classic "The Letter" came in to being.

Posted by: scottjmonaghan | March 18, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

janedoe20810: not really funny, or appropriate.

Posted by: dan37 | March 18, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

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