Jay Black, singer for ’60s pop tastemakers Jay And The Americans, has died at age 82.
Black’s family confirmed that he died on Friday (October 22) from complications associated with pneumonia. Black had also suffered from dementia in his later years. The singer – real name David Blatt – was known his distinct croon and longstanding vocal range, becoming known as ‘The Voice’.
Black’s son, Jason Blatt, shared a post to the band’s official Facebook page confirming his father’s passing. “He was the source of so much joy and happiness for so many with his legendary voice and humor, touching so many lives around the world,” the post read.
A Brooklyn, New York native, Black was the second Jay in Jay And The Americans, joining the group in 1962 after the departure of their first singer, Jay Traynor.
After they released their 1963 single ‘Only In America’, Black went on to feature on Top 10 hits ‘Cara Mia’, ‘This Magic Moment’, ‘Come A Little Bit Closer’ and more, with 21 songs in total making the charts.
Notably, the group were the opening band for The Beatles’ first US performance in Washington DC back in 1964.
Upon their disbandment in 1973, Black embarked on a solo career, with his final performance being in 2017. Per Rolling Stone, Black’s family said: “New and old fans continued to marvel at the strength and range of Black’s voice through his last concert in 2017.
“He had a special bond with his fans… He thought of them as family, knew many of their names, and would dedicate songs to them from the stage and meet with them after the show.”
Black is survived by his four children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.