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Two songs he wrote became big hits. His friend Johnny Preston landed on the top of the country charts with "Running Bear" as did George Jones with "White Lightning."
Over the years, Richardson has become better remembered for his tragic death than for his all-too-brief career. Still "Chantilly Lace" remains a popular early rock song,
which is a favorite among movie soundtracks. It can be heard in such films as American Graffiti and Happy Feet.
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They make music with instruments they were born with - their voices. Gifted vocalists have entertained audiences across musical genres from the tour de force arias of Luciano Pavarotti to the classic crooning of Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett to the soulful vocals of artists like Aretha Franklin and Mahalia Jackson. With their powerful lyricism, singers like Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and Bruce Springsteen became poet laureates of American music while artists including Joan Baez and Joe Strummer used their voices to prompt social change while they entertained. Rockers from Elvis Presley to The Beatles to Kurt Cobain helped define their generations through their songs while icons like Michael Jackson, Cher and Whitney Houston shaped pop culture with their larger-than-life voices and personas. See these and more famous singers who have struck a chord in musical history.
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