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Acclaimed singer and guitarist Leon Redbone, known for his jazz, ragtime, and Tin Pan Alley-style music, has died.
Redbone the family confirmed the musician died on Thursday in a statement shared on his official website.
Redbone the actual age is not known, because he never directly answered questions about the topic; the family’s statement, he said, “crossed the delta to the beautiful coast at the age of 127.” However, according to The Associated Press, he was 69, with the performer’s publicist to say that he was born in Cyprus on Aug. 26, 1949.
“It is with a heavy heart, we announce that early this morning, May 30, 2019, Leon Redbone crossed the delta to the beautiful coast at the age of 127. He left our world with his guitar, his faithful companion Rover, and a simple tip of his hat,” the statement read.
The continuation of the lighthearted tone, the statement added: “He is interested to see what Blind Blake, Emmett and Jelly Roll have done, in his absence, and has plans for a rousing sing-along number with Sári Barabás. An eternity of pouring through the texts in the Library of Ashurbanipal will be a welcome rest, maybe followed by a shot or two of whiskey with Lee Morse, and some long-awaited conversations with his favorite Uncle, Suppiluliuma I of the Hittites.
“For his fans, friends and a loving family who has been missing him in this world, he says:” Oh behave yourself. Thank you…. and good evening everyone.'”
In 1975, Redbone released his debut album, “On the Job.” He went on to put 16 more of the records.
His career got a huge boost in the beginning of the 1970s, when Bob Dylan met him at the Mariposa Folk Festival in Ontario, Canada, and praised his performance. Dylan said that if he ever started a label, he would have signed the Redbone.
Leon interests me,” Dylan said in an interview with Rolling Stone in 1974. “I have heard that he is somewhere between 25 and 60, I have a foot and a half of him) and I can’t tell, but you should see him. He does old Jimmie Rodgers, then turns around and does a Robert Johnson.”
Redbone also gained notoriety for its placement in a popular 1982 Budweiser commercial, during which he sang, “This Button is For you.”
Throughout his career, Redbone made appearances on “Saturday Night Live” and “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.” He also sang theme songs for such works as “Mr. Belvedere” and “Harry & The Hendersons.”
He also has a voice of Leon the Snowman character in will Ferrell’s beloved 2003 film “Elf” and did a duet with the film’s female lead, Zooey Deschanel, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”
Redbone withdrew from the run in 2015 because his health was “a matter of concern for some time”, said a spokesman for the singer said at the time, and it was a challenge for him to continue with the full range of professional activities.”
A 16-minute documentary about his life, “Please don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone,” was released last year.
No further details about his death were available at the time of publication.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.