Bobby Rydell, the 1960s adolescent star, has passed away.
According to CBS Philly, the former teen hero died mere weeks before his 80th birthday, which was set for April 26.
“A Philadelphia Music Legend… has gone away.” On Twitter, Ukee Washington of CBS3 in Philadelphia stated, “Sending prayers of comfort, strength, and love to the family and admirers of Bobby Rydell.”
If you were a teenager in the early 1960s, you almost certainly had a crush on Bobby Rydell. With his incredible voice, the Philadelphia native grabbed America by storm. He could be described as the 1960s’ Justin Bieber.
Robert Louis Ridarelli was born in 1942 in South Philadelphia to an Italian family. After winning a talent show at Paul Whiteman’s TV Teen Club, his career took off.
Following that, he changed his identity to Bobby Rydell and began performing with numerous bands in and around Philadelphia. He was able to secure a recording contract, but his first few singles failed miserably.
Bobby didn’t give up, and with his song “Kissin’ Time,” he finally achieved his long-awaited success. Things began to move quickly, and his father left his factory job to work as Bobby’s road manager.
Bobby became an instant teen star in the early 1960s with chart-topping singles including “Wild One,” “Volare,” and “We Got Love.”
His role as Hugo Peabody in the musical film Bye Bye Birdie made him a well-known show industry performer.
Bobby married Camille Quattrone Ridarelli, his high school sweetheart, in 1968. The pair married at Stella Mari’s Catholic Church in South Philadelphia, which is where both of them grew up. According to Camille’s obituary, 1,000 loving fans waited outside the chapel.
Until her death in 2003, the couple was together. Bobby began drinking regularly after Camille became gravely ill with cancer and died.
Bobby’s fortunes changed in 2009, when he married his old friend Linda Hoffman. Linda assisted Bobby in quitting drinking and pushed him to write a highly intimate autobiography, which he used as therapy. Bobby needed to recover from a kidney and liver transplant in 2012, and Linda was there to help.