Teen idol and longtime singer Davide Cassidy is dead at 67, according to his publicist and family.
The “Partridge Family” star died on Monday, Nov. 20, it was confirmed Tuesday, CBS reported. He was hospitalized last week after suffering multiple-organ failure.
Cassidy’s nephew, Jack, tweeted: “My uncle David Cassidy has sadly passed away tonight… & in the process of mourning I can’t help but thank God for the joy that he brought to countless millions of people! I don’t think I’m alone in saying that we will all miss him. God Speed!”
In February, Cassidy opened up about his health problems after videos surfaced of him taking a fall during a concert. After that, he stopped touring.
“I was in denial, but a part of me always knew this was coming,” he told People magazine.
Publicist Jo-Ann Geffen said, “David died surrounded by those he loved, with joy in his heart and free from the pain that had gripped him for so long. Thank you for the abundance and support you have shown him these many years,” CNN reported.
With dark hair cascading over his shoulders, hazel eyes and a look that emulated many rock stars of the day, Cassidy was cast at 19 in “The Partridge Family” for his sex appeal to girls, not his singing. When the show’s producers discovered Cassidy’s melodious voice, he became the lead singer in the family band, Reuters noted.
He played the teenager Keith Partridge whose widowed mother—portrayed by his stepmother, Shirley Jones—formed a touring pop band with her offspring, traveling to gigs in a multicolored bus.
The sitcom produced a number of hit songs, including “I Think I Love You,” which reached No. 1 on the Billboard chart in 1970, the year the show debuted.
The Oscar-winning Jones was his mentor as well as his co-star, and the two remained friends and collaborators long after the show ended in 1974.
My uncle David Cassidy has sadly passed away tonight… & in the process of mourning I can't help but thank God for the joy that he brought to countless millions of people! I don't think I'm alone in saying that we will all miss him. God Speed!
— Jack Cassidy (@jackgcassidy) November 22, 2017
“At first, David was overwhelmed with the whole thing and his ego blew way up,” Jones told Life magazine in 1971. “And I think he hoped that some of those adoring fans would come a little closer to his own age.”
On his own, as a performer who played guitar and piano in addition to singing, Cassidy sold millions of copies of his debut album, “Cherish,” in 1972. He drew large crowds of mostly teen and preteen girls at concerts around the world.
Girls tried to pierce security perimeters to touch the star and spent their allowances on merchandise emblazoned with his image, including lunch boxes and 3-D postcards. His fan club was one of the largest of its kind.
The fandom surrounding Cassidy approached the hysteria of Beatlemania a decade earlier and culminated in a stampede at a 1974 show in London. Hundreds were injured, and a 14-year-old girl caught in the crush died days later.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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