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'Sunny' composer Bobby Hebb dead at 72

Aug. 4, 2010 at 11:27 PM

NASHVILLE, Aug. 4 (UPI) -- Singer-songwriter Bobby Hebb has died at Nashville's Centennial Medical Center, his family said. He was 72.

The (Nashville) Tennessean confirmed Hebb died Tuesday but did not report the cause.

Born to blind African-American musicians in Nashville, Hebb is best known for his 1966 hit "Sunny," which was ultimately covered by Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and James Brown, among others.

"'Sunny' is one of the mammoth songs in pop music history," Country Music Hall of Fame Museum editor Michael Gray told The Tennessean. "But beyond that, Bobby's is one of the most interesting musical stories I've ever heard. He represented the multi-racial musical milieu of 1960s Nashville better than anyone else."

In addition to singing and writing, Hebb also played guitar, trumpet, percussion and piano, the newspaper noted.

Hebb is survived by his daughter, Kitoto Von Hebb; and four sisters, Helen Hebb-McCray, Ednaearle Burney, Shirley Trotter and Cleevette Davidson.

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