Alan Merrill, the co-author and original singer of the classic hit, I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll, has died as a result of COVID-19, the illness associated with the novel coronavirus.
He was 69-years-old.
His daughter, Laura Merrill, confirmed the sad news on Facebook yesterday. She said that he had been well enough to perform at a show just a couple of weeks ago.
She said he had had a cold but downplayed its importance. She urged families not to be complacent and to “take this seriously” and to “stay home if not for you…for others. For my dad.”
She finished by writing, “Please stay safe. No one is immune to this, and it is very real.”
Merrill and his band, the Arrows, first released I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll in 1975.
A version performed by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts became a global hit in 1982 and spent seven weeks at the top of the Billboard chart.
The song has been covered by artists ranging from Britney Spears to Weird Al Yankovic.
Joan Jett posted a tribute to Alan Merrill
Joan Jett posted a tribute to Instagram.
She wrote, “My thoughts and love go to his family, friends and music community as a whole.”
View this post on Instagram
I've just learned of the awful news that Alan Merrill has passed. My thoughts and love go to his family, friends and music community as a whole. I can still remember watching the Arrows on TV in London and being blown away by the song that screamed hit to me. With deep gratitude and sadness, wishing him a safe journey to the other side 🖤
Born in New York, Merrill’s first band was called The Lead and achieved some popularity in Japan.
In 1974 he moved to the UK to form The Arrows; they specialized in putting a glam rock sheen on classic pop melodies.
Alan Merrill performed with Meatloaf
Merrill later joined Meatloaf’s band for four years and two albums. Meatloaf wrote a tribute on Facebook, “Ok, everyone find the song that Alan and Joan Jett wrote, ” I LOVE ROCK AND ROLL ” play it loud and celebrate the life of Alan Merrill.”
Meatloaf added, “Let this be a lesson to all of us, try to stay in touch with the people you really love and care about. Life is very short. Alan, I am sorry that I didn’t reach out to you years ago. I love you very much.”
Rest in peace, Alan Merrill.
Over the weekend, the virus also claimed the life of country-western singer Joe Diffie, the Grammy award-winning singer who became a star in the 1990s was 61-years-old and had only announced on Friday that he had developed COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the family of Nashville legend John Prine said he was critically ill on a ventilator and being treated for Covid-19 symptoms.