Country Music Hall of Fame member Sonny James passed away Monday, Feb. 22. The Alabama native was 87.
Best known for his 1957 crossover smash, “Young Love,” James went on to score 16-consecutive No. 1 country hits in the late ’60s and early ’70s. That tally includes R&B covers of songs previously recorded by the likes of Brook Benton and Etta James.
Sonny James’ popularity also landed him appearances on major TV shows, including “The Ed Sullivan Show,” and a few country-themed movies. James co-hosted the first-ever CMA Awards with Bobbie Gentry in 1967. He was also the first country artist to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and even recorded a cassette of his songs especially for the crew of the Apollo 14 flight to the moon in 1971.
Sonny James released his final single in 1983 and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2006. He is survived by his wife, Doris. They were married in 1957.