Box Tops’ Alex Chilton Dead at 59

Alex Chilton, the man behind the billboard chart topper “The Letter,” has died. His Big Star band mate Jody Stephens confirmed that singer-guitarist Chilton, who at 16 propelled The Box Tops to the top of the charts, succumbed to what had appeared to be a heart attack. Chilton died after being brought to a hospital in New Orleans.

Chilton and the rest of Big Star, the band he formed after The Box Tops disbanded in 1970, were supposed to perform at the SXSW on Saturday. The Commercial Appeal of Memphis reported that Chilton had not been in the pink of health over the past few days before he was taken to an emergency room on Wednesday.

Chilton never duplicated with Big Star the commercial success he achieved with The Box Tops but he has always been considered among the most talented musicians in the industry. Chilton left behind his wife Laura and son Timothy.