Singer-Songwriter Leon Redbone Dies at 69

Singer-songwriter Leon Redbone, who became known for his renditions of Tin Pan Alley-era classics, died on Thursday at the age of 69, Variety reports. Redbone released 16 albums between 1975 and his retirement in 2015, and was inspired by ’20s and ’30s musical styles, including ragtime and blues. According to The Toronto Star, he was born in Cyprus and originally named Dickran Gobalian. The musician “reinvented himself” with Ontario’s Change of Name Act when he moved to Canada in the mid-1960s and established himself in Toronto folk clubs in the early ’70s. From there, he later moved to Pennsylvania and started his U.S. career—attracting adoration and praise from artists like Bob Dylan and Bonnie Raitt. He performed several times on Saturday Night Live in the mid-1970s, and frequently appeared on Johnny Carson’s The Tonight Show into the ’80s. When Redbone retired, a representative attributed the move to ongoing health concerns.

A statement announcing his death claimed he died at the age of 127, echoing the whimsicality and deadpan humor he was best known for. “To his fans, friends, and loving family who have already been missing him so in this realm he says, ‘Oh behave yourselves. Thank you…. and good evening everybody,’” the statement read.