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'I Love Rock 'N' Roll' songwriter Alan Merrill dies from coronavirus

March 30 (UPI) -- Alan Merrill, the American rock musician who co-wrote the song "I Love Rock 'N' Roll," has died at the age of 69 due to the coronavirus.

His daughter, Laura Merrill, announced his death on Facebook Sunday, saying, "the coronavirus took my father this morning."

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"I just lost the greatest love of my life and won't be able to hug anyone because I've been exposed and need to self-quarantine for two weeks," she said, urging people to stay home if not for their own health then for the health others.

"People are dying," she said.

Singer Meat Loaf confirmed his death, calling Merrill "a great human being" who was "very talented."

Merrill, who wrote the now iconic rock anthem as a founding member of the Arrows, also played in Meat Loaf's band for nearly half a decade.

"I am very, very sad right now as I start to write this," Meat Loaf said in a post on Facebook. "... [Merrill] passed away yesterday from the coronavirus."

Merrill was born Allan Preston Sachs in New York on Feb. 19, 1951, and wrote "I Love Rock 'N' Roll" with Arrows' bandmate Jake Hooker in 1975. Merrill also performed the song but it became a household tune after Joan Jett & the Blackhearts covered it in 1982.

Jett mourned Merrill's death on Instagram, saying, "my thoughts and love go to his family, friends and music community as a whole."

"I can still remember watching the Arrows on TV in London and being blown away by the song that screamed 'hit' to me," Jett said. "With deep gratitude and sadness, wishing him a safe journey to the other side."

Since the first person in the United States was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Jan. 21, more than 140,000 people have contracted the deadly and infectious virus in the country, according to a tracker of medical data by Johns Hopkins University.

Among those figures include the deaths of more than 2,500 people including country singer Joe Diffie and CBS broadcast journalist Maria Mercader, among other notable figures.

Notable deaths of 2020

Richard Thornburgh
Richard "Dick" Thornburgh, former attorney general of the United States and former governor of Pennsylvania, takes a seat at the witness hearing after U.S. Chief Justice nominee Judge John Roberts testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on September 15, 2005. Thornburgh died on December 31 at age 88. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo

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