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Wednesday
Dec072011

'Drift Away' Singer Dobie Gray Dead at 71

Singers Dobie Gray (L) and Uncle Kracker appear on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on May 5, 2003. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)(NEW YORK) -- Dobie Gray, the singer who scored with the smash hit "Drift Away" in 1973, has died.  He was 71. A note on his official website announced his passing, but no cause of death was listed.

Gray's music was introduced to a new audience in 2003, when Uncle Kracker recorded a duet version of the song with Gray.  The single hit the top ten and topped the Adult Contemporary charts for a record 28 weeks.

"My heart goes out to Dobie's family this evening," Kracker tweeted Tuesday night. "RIP Dobie Gray. Thank you for the music. You will not be forgotten.”

Dobie Gray, whose birth name has been reported as Lawrence Darrow Brown and Leonard Victor Ainsworth, was given his stage name by Sonny Bono, who supposedly named him after the then-popular TV show The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. Gray's first hit single was "The In Crowd," a top-15 hit in 1965, but it was "Drift Away" that cemented his legacy.

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