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19 Mar 10 Box Tops Leader Dies Prior to Chance to Perform in Austin

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The Box Tops had one of the biggest hits of the 1960s. That fame drove them to many opportunities, including playing this weekend at the South By Southwest Festival in Austin. But this week’s death of the group’s lead singer put an end to that.

The Box Tops

Alex Chilton was 59. He died Wednesday in New Orleans of an apparent heart attack. They were preparing for Saturday’s scheduled appearance in Austin.

In 1967, a 16-year-old Chilton and his band the Box Tops hit the top of the charts with “The Letter.” That song is said to have influenced many future groups, including REM and the Replacements.

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