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Crooner Andy Williams, of Moon River fame, dies

Published on Sep 27, 2012 6:08 AM
This Feb. 6, 2009 file photo shows Andy Williams arriving at the MusiCares Person of the Year tribute in Los Angeles. Williams, who had a string of gold albums and hosted several variety shows and specials such as, "The Andy Williams Show," died Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012, at his home in Branson, Missouri, following a yearlong battle with bladder cancer, his Los Angeles-based publicist, Paul Shefrin, said Wednesday. He was 84. -- PHOTO: AP

CHICAGO (AFP) - American crooner Andy Williams, whose string of hits like Moon River and annual Christmas TV shows made him a national treasure, has died aged 84 after losing his battle with cancer.

Wildly popular in the 1960s, with 18 gold and three platinum records to his name, the clean-cut master of easy listening and the sentimental soundtrack signed what at the time was the biggest US recording contract.

"Legendary singer Andy Williams passed away last night (Tuesday) at home in Branson, Missouri following a year long battle with bladder cancer, it was announced by his family," his publicist said.

Born in Wall Lake, Iowa, a son of a rail-road worker, Howard Andrew Williams sang in his family's church choir with bothers Bob, Dick and Don - setting off on what was to become a 75-year professional singing career.

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