Davy Jones, Monkees Singer, Dead at 66
Davy Jones, the singer for 60s pop group the Monkees, died Wednesday morning of a heart attack, the Martin County, Florida, medical examiner's office told TheWrap. He was 66.
Jones died at his Florida home. He leaves behind a wife, Jessica, and four daughters.
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Jones had been scheduled to appear at La Mirada Performing Arts Center on March 31.
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Born on December 30, 1945 in Manchester, England, Jones began his acting career in his pre-teens, appearing on the British soap opera "Coronation Street" and the police show "Z-Cars." Following his mother's death from emphysema when he was 14, Jones put acting on hold to train as a jockey, but eventually returned to performing.
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Jones' career took off in 1965, when he was chosen as a member of the Monkees, along with Peter Tork, Mike Nesmith and Micky Dolenz. Assembled for a Screen Gems television comedy series, the Monkees were derided by many as a manufactured group, but nonetheless racked up an impressive number of hits, with Jones singing many of them, including "I Wanna Be Free" and "Daydream Believer."
The group disbanded in 1971, but Jones continued to perform music, both as a solo artist and, briefly, in the group Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart with his former bandmate Dolenz and songwriters Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart. The Monkees would also reunite periodically, most recently in 2011 for "An Evening With the Monkees: The 45th Anniversary Tour."
Jones' most recent album, a collection of classics spanning the 1940s to the 1970s entitled "She," was released in 2009.
He also continued to act, appearing on '70s series such as "The Brady Bunch," "My Two Dads," "Here Comes the Bride" and "Love, American Style," as well as on the stage, appearing in several productions of "Oliver!" as Fagin. (Jones had gotten an early break in his stage career playing the Artful Dodger in the same play.)
Jones' love of horse racing would also continue; the singer/actor owned and raced horses, and served as a spokesman for Virginia's Colonial Downs racetrack.
As news of Jones' death filtered out, fellow musicians began to offer tribute to the singer.
"Eternal rest for Davy Jones who leaves a great legacy of music, fun and all the colors of the rainbow," Nancy Sinatra tweeted. Will Smith likewise chimed in, writing, "R.I.P. Davy Jones. Retweet for respect."
Joshua Weinstein contributed reporting to this story.Related Articles: Notable Celebrity Deaths of 2012 Whitney Houston Dead at 48; Tribute Set for Grammys Tonight at 8 on CBS Don Cornelius, 'Soul Train' Host, Dead of Gunshot Wound
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